No. 2 Seed UCLA Faces Belmont on Thursday in NCAA First Round
March 12, 2006
UCLA'S NEXT GAME/2006 NCAA TOURNAMENTTHURSDAY, MARCH 16 - No. 8 UCLA (27-6, 14-4,No. 2 Seed in Oakland Regional) vs. No. 15 seedBelmont Bruins (20-10, 15-5, Atlantic Sun ConferenceChampions) in San Diego, CA (Cox Arena) (TVCBS/Radio- 570 AM, with Chris Roberts and DonMacLean).
No. 2 SEED UCLA BRUINS TENTATIVE STARTINGLINEUP (Overall 27-6/Pac-10 14-4, regular seasonchamp)
|23||Luc Richard Mbah a Moute||F||6-7||Fr.||8.8||8.1|
*first regular season Pac-10 Championship since 1997/firstPac-10 Tournament title since 1987/No. 2 NCAA seed(highest since 1997, No. 2 Midwest)/33 games tiesschool record for most games in a season.
The Bruin women also won their Pac-10 TournamentChampionship, only the second time in Pac-10Tournament history the same men/women's programswon the Tournament title (Stanford, 2004).
**NCAA Tournament teams.
Bruins vs. Bruins - this will be UCLA's first meeting vs.the Belmont Bruins, the 2006 Atlantic Sun Champion(20-10/15-5).
UCLA IN THE NCAA
This is UCLA's second appearance in the NCAATournament under Ben Howland.
The No. 2 seed is UCLA's highest since 1997, when theBruins were No. 2 in the Midwest. That year, UCLAadvanced to the Elite Eight, defeating CharlestonSouthern and Xavier in Auburn Hills and Iowa Statein San Antonio before losing to Minnesota.
Overall, this is UCLA's 40th appearance in the NCAATournament. UCLA holds the record for mostchampionships won (11 in 1964-65-67-68-69-70-71-72-73-75-95) and longest winning streak - 38 gamesbetween 1964 and 1974.
In addition, UCLA ranks third in NCAA Tournamentgames won (85, Kentucky is No. 1 and North Carolinais No. 2) and second in tournament winningpercentage (.726, Duke is No. 1).
UCLA HEAD COACH Ben Howland - In his thirdseason at UCLA and 12th year as a collegiate head coach(in his 25th season of college basketball, as an assistant andhead coach).
In the last two years, UCLA is 45-17 (.726) underHowland's direction.
2005-06 - UCLA (27-6, 33 games/.818)
2004-05 - UCLA (18-11, 29 games/.621)
2003-04 - UCLA (11-17, 28 games/.393)
UCLA Totals - 56-34, 90 games/.622
2000-03 - Pittsburgh (89-40, 129 games/69.0)
1995-99 - N. Arizona (79-59, 138 games/57.2)
Overall Totals - (224-133, 357 games/.627)
A prime candidate for National Coach of the Yearhonors, on March 6 was named the Pac-10 andUSBWA Dist. IX Coach of the Year and on March 1,he was named a finalist for the Jim Phelan NationalCoach of the Year award. Has also been honored byCollegeInsider.com, CBS SportsLine.com and SI. comas the Pac-10 Coach of the Year.
It's Howland's third conference Coach of the Yearhonor overall (2002-Big East Coach of the Year/atPittsburgh and 1997- Big Sky Coach of the Year/atNorthern Arizona). It's only the fifth time a UCLAcoach has won Pac-10 Coach of the Year honors sincethe award was first handed out in 1976 (Steve Lavin(2001), Jim Harrick (1995), Walt Hazzard (1987) andGary Cunningham (1978).
Howland recorded his 50th Bruin win against Oregon Stateand is now 56-34 (.622), including 45-17 (.726) in thelast two years as the Bruins' head coach. The USC gameon Feb. 19 was his 350th game as a collegiate headcoach.
He has led UCLA this season to three Pac-10 road sweeps(at the Oregon schools, first time since 2000-01, at theArizona schools, first time since 1996-97, at the BayArea schools, first time since 2000) - not since 1994-95have the Bruins had three Pac-10 road sweeps (at theArizona, Washington and Bay Area schools/1995 was thelast year UCLA won the NCAA Championship). Thisseason the Bruins have swept (home/away) the Oregonschools (first time since 2001) and the Arizona schools(first time since 1997).
He recorded his 200th career victory on Nov. 19, whenUCLA defeated Delaware State 56-37 in Pauley Pavilion.In Howland's second year (2004-05) at UCLA, he joinedan elite list of college coaches (28) who have led threedifferent teams to the NCAA Tournament (Howland'soverall NCAA record is 4-4) - 2005 UCLA, 2003Pittsburgh ('Sweet 16), 2002 Pittsburgh ('Sweet 16')and 1998 Northern Arizona. In 2005, Howland led theBruins back to the NCAA Tournament for the first timesince 2002; he directed the Bruins to a win overnationally-ranked Washington; led UCLA to a thirdplacetie in the Pac-10 and to a Pac-10 Tournamentappearance. In Howland's first year (2003-04) at UCLA,highlights included a 9-3 start (5-0 in the Pac-10), winsover NCAA Tournament teams Michigan State,Washington (twice) and Vermont and an appearance inthe Pac-10 Tournament.
In his last two seasons (2002-03) at Pittsburgh - in 2003, heled the Panthers to a 28-5 overall record, No. 4 nationalranking, NCAA 'Sweet 16' and the Big East TournamentChampionship and in 2002, Pittsburgh was 29-6 overall(school record for wins), advanced to the NCAA 'Sweet16' and the Big East Tournament title game andHowland was the consensus National Coach of the Year.
HONORS- Here's a list of the Bruin preseason team andindividual player honors. On March 6, Jordan Farmar andArron Afflalo were named first-team All-Pac-10 selections (UCLA) leads the conference with 104 first-team selections.
Jordan Farmar - A member of the All Pac-10Tournament team, on March 10, named aCollegeInsider.com All-American. On March 7, wasnamed first-team USBWA All. Dist. IX, on March 6, heearned first-team All-Pac-10 and was named to theWooden Award finalist list (22 players) and on March1, was named the Pac-10 Most Valuable Player byCollegeInsider.com. On Feb. 18, Farmar was namedfirst-team NABC All-Dist. 15. He was on the mid-seasonNaismith Trophy (30 players) and Wooden Award (30players) lists. He is also a finalist for the Bob Cousy Award(nation's top point guard). Farmar is one of just fourplayers, he's the only underclassman, mentioned for allthree honors (joining senior guards, Illinois' Dee Brown,Pittsburgh's Carl Krauser and Syracuse's GerryMcNamara).
Arron Afflalo - A member of the All-Pac-10Tournament team, on March 7, was named a first-teamUSBWA All-Dist. IX and CollegeInsider.com DefensiveAll-American, on March 6 was a first-team All-Pac-10selection and named Pac-10 Player of the Week (for hisplay in the Bruins' sweep of the Bay Area), and on Feb.18, Afflalo was named first-team NABC All-Dist. 15. Hewas named an early-season All-American by scout.com andnamed to the NIT Season Tip-Off All-Tournament team.
Farmar and Afflalo - were named the nation's No. 3backcourt by SI.com (Jan. 25).
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute - on March 7 was namedthe CBS SportsLine.com and SI.com Pac-10 Freshmanof the Year, on March 6 was named the Pac-10Freshman of the Year (and Honorable Mention All-Pac-10) and a Freshman All-American byCollegeInsider.com. He was named to Seth Davis' SI.comAll-Glue team on Feb. 15 (given to players who emphasizeteam play over individualism). He was named theRivals.com National Freshman of the Week (Jan. 30) forhis efforts in UCLA's two victories at the Oregon schools.
Darren Collison - on March 6 was named a Pac-10Honorable Mention All-Freshman selection.