UCLA Outlasts Kansas, 68-55, Headed Back To Final Four
March 24, 2007
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - Arron Afflalo erased his history of mediocre big-game performances, leading UCLA back to the Final Four.
In an exceptional second half, Afflalo scored 15 of his 24 points and the Bruins held off top-seeded Kansas for a 68-55 victory Saturday night in the West Regional championship.
Afflalo also played stellar defense and Darren Collison added 14 points and four big free throws in the final seconds. The Bruins (30-5) made their halftime lead stand up in an appropriately tense meeting between two schools with rich traditions and a combined 30 Final Four appearances - including an NCAA-record 17th for UCLA next week in Atlanta.
The Bruins, who lost to Florida in last season's national title game, could be in for a rematch: They'll meet Sunday's winner of the Gators' regional final against Oregon.
Brandon Rush scored 18 points for the Jayhawks, the first No. 1 seed to be eliminated from the tournament. Their 14-game winning streak also was snapped in the school's first NCAA tournament loss in California, where this game had a decided home-court feel for the Bruins.
UCLA has never lost to Kansas in five NCAA tournament meetings, and the Bruins are 17-3 in regional finals. UCLA also has back-to-back 30-win seasons for the first time since 1972-73, when two of John Wooden's 10 championship-winning teams each went 30-0.
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