This Week in Pac-10 Men's Basketball
March 24, 2008
Both UCLA and STANFORD rallied from second half deficits to advance to the Sweet Sixteen. Meanwhile, WASHINGTON STATE employed a stifling defense to reach the Sweet Sixteen as well. For the Bruins, it's their third straight trip to the regional semifinals, and 11th since 1990. Stanford is making it's first trip to the Sweet Sixteen since 2001. For the Cougars, it's just the second time in school history that they've won a pair of NCAA Tournament games to advance. The only other time that occured was during the 1940-41 season when they finished the year as NCAA runner-ups... It's the sixth time in Pac-10 history that the league has had at least three teams advance to the Sweet Sixteen... ARIZONA STATE remains alive in the NIT and will host Florida, winner of the last two NCAA titles, Tuesday, Mar. 25... The Pac-10 entered the postseason with a record nine teams extending their season. The previous high was seven on four occasions (1990, 1994, 1997, 2002). The six teams appearing in NCAA Tournament action tied a Pac-10 record (also achieved in 2002 and 2007).
NCAA REGIONAL SEMIFINALS
Thurs., Mar. 27
Phoenix, Ariz. (West Regional)
No. 1 UCLA vs. No. 12 Western Kentucky, approx. 6:40 p.m. PT
Charlotte, N.C. (East Regional)
No. 4 WASHINGTON STATE vs. No. 1 North Carolina, 7:27 p.m. ET
Fri., Mar. 28
Houston, Texas (South Regional)
No. 3 STANFORD vs. No. 2 Texas, 6:27 p.m. CT
NCAA REGIONAL FINALS
Sat., Mar. 29 - Should Pac-10 teams advance
UCLA vs. Xavier/West Virginia winner, TBD
WASHINGTON STATE vs. Louisville/Tennessee winner, TBD
Sun., Mar. 30 - Should Pac-10 teams advance
STANFORD vs. Memphis/Michigan State winner, TBD
NIT TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE
Tues., Mar. 25
Florida at ARIZONA STATE, 6 p.m. PT ESPN
(winner advances to play Syracuse/Massachusetts winner, April 1)
Game times local to site. All NCAA games broadcast by CBS.
NCAA Tournament Record: 21-14. 16th appearance. Last appearance - 2007Best NCAA finish: NCAA Champions (1942)
The Cardinal are making their 13th NCAA Tournament appearance in the last 14 years. This is their first Sweet Sixteen appearance since 2001, and fourth trip to the regional semifinals since the bracket expanded to 64 teams in 1985.
Sophomore F Brook Lopez leads the team with 19.0 points and 8.1 rebounds per game. Both numbers would rank among the league's top five, however he needs to play in one more game in order to qualify for the league's statistical rankings. Lopez has posted four 30-point games, including a game-high 30 points in the overtime win against Marquette.
Sophomore C Robin Lopez ranks second all-time at Stanford with 156 career blocked shots. He needs 12 more to grab the top spot on the list, passing Tim Young (167 blocks, 1994-99).
Junior G Mitch Johnson posted a career-high 16 assists in the win over Marquette. He leads the Pac-10 with 5.14 assists per game. The only other Stanford players ever to lead the league in assists were Marcus Lollie (1992) and Brevin Knight (1996 and 1997).
Stanford leads the Pac-10 in defensive field goal percentage (.393) and blocked shots (5.23 per game)
The Cardinal finished their home slate with a 16-1 record. The highest single-season home win total in school history. Stanford has produced 10 or more home wins in each of the last 15 seasons. The Cardinal are 63-11 (.851) at Maples Pavilion over the last five seasons.
NCAA Tournament Record: 96-34. 42nd appearance. Last appearance - 2007Best NCAA finish: NCAA Champions (1964-65, 1967-73, 1975, 1995)
UCLA set a school record with 33 wins this season. It has posted 30 or more wins for a school-record three consecutive seasons. Over the last three seasons, the Bruins have posted a record of 95-16 (.856).
UCLA's 78 points allowed in the first two NCAA Tournament games is the lowest total for the first two games of a Tournament since 1949, when Oklahoma State allowed just 69 in its first two games. The 29 points it allowed against Mississippi Valley State were the lowest ever for a 1st or 2nd Round game. The last time a team was held under 30 points was March 22, 1946 when Oklahoma State held Baylor to 29 points.
Freshman C Kevin Love was named the Pac-10 Player of the Year - just the second time a Pac-10 freshman earned the honor (California's Shareef Abdur-Rahim won it as a freshman in 1996). He scored in double figures in each game this season and posted 21 double-doubles.
Love has grabbed 382 rebounds this season. That's more than any Bruin since Bill Walton had 398 in 1974. That ranks No. 9 on the season list, just two behind No. 8 Sidney Wicks (384 in 1971).
Junior F Josh Shipp (1,226 pts) and G Darren Collison (1,110 pts) each went over 1,000 points for their careers.
Collison earned Pac-10 Tournament Most Outstanding Player honors after averaging 20.0 points, 2.7 assists, 1.7 steals and turned the ball over just twice in 110 minutes of action. Collison's three-point percentage of .516 is the best in school history for one season.
NCAA Tournament Record: 6-5. 6th appearance. Last appearance - 2007Best NCAA finish - 2nd (1940)
The Cougars have posted back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time since Jack Friel's teams posted four straight 20-plus win seasons from 1939-42. The 26 victories this season equals the school record first set in 1941 (26-6) and tied last season (26-8).
In their two NCAA Tournament wins, the Cougars are holding the opponents to just 27.6 percent shooting from the field (29-of-105) and 40.3 points.
Washington State is second in the nation in scoring defense, allowing just 56.1 points per game.
The Cougars have drawn a record 120,083 fans (9,237 per game). It's the second consecutive season over 100,000 fans, and third time in school history.
Senior G Derrick Low ranks fourth on WSU's all-time three-point list with 218 treys.
Senior G Kyle Weaver is believed to the the first player in Pac-10 history to record 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, 400 assists, 150 steals and 75 blocked shots.
Both Low (1,274 pts) and Weaver (1,152 pts) have each gone over 1,000 points for their careers.
The Cougars lead the league in turnover margin (+2.94) and post a league-low 10.2 turnovers. The Cougars have turned the ball over 10 or fewer times in 16 of the last 22 games.
NIT Tournament Record: 5-9. 10th appearance. Last appearance - 2005Best NIT finish - 1-1 (1983, 1992, 2000)
Finishing 9-9 in Pac-10 play was a seven-win improvement over last year's 2-16 season. ASU is the fifth team in 30 years of Pac-10 play to go from a a last-place finish to a .500 record.
Freshman G James Harden's 17.8 points per game is second-best in ASU freshmen history. He's scored 20 or more points 16 times this season, and has posted 25 or more points six times. His 72 steals are also a school freshman record. He needs five more thefts to set the school single-season mark, passing Lafayette Lever (76, 1982). At 2.18 steals per game, he's attempting to become the fifth freshman to lead the league in steals - Jason Kidd (3.8 spg/1993), Baron Davis, UCLA (2.4 spg/1998), Errick Craven USC (2.1 spg/2002) and Gabe Pruitt, USC (1.9 psg/2005).
Freshman G Ty Abbott holds ASU's freshmen record for three-pointers with 75.
Junior F Jeff Pendergraph tied a school record with eight blocked shots in the NIT second round win over Southern Illinois.
The Postseason: With six teams selected for the NCAA Tournament, the Pac-10 has sent four or more teams into the Tournament for the 14th time in 15 years... With Oregon at 9-9 and Arizona at 8-10 in league play, this marks the first time a Pac-10 team with a .500 record or sub-.500 record has made the Tournament field... Eight of the 10 Pac-10 institutions have appeared in the NCAA Tournament over the previous three years... Over the last eight NCAA Tournaments, the Pac-10 has posted a 58-36 (.617) record and has had 18 teams reach the Sweet Sixteen... With 15 national titles, the Pac-10 owns more NCAA basketball titles than any other conference. Five different Pac-10 schools have captured the national title... Three different Pac-10 schools have won NIT titles.
Fabulous Freshmen: Four Pac-10 freshman are among the top six in the league in scoring - USC's O.J. Mayo (20.7 ppg/2nd), Arizona's Jerryd Bayless (19.7/3rd), Arizona State's James Harden (17.8 ppg/4th) and UCLA's Kevin Love (17.3 ppg/6th). Prior to this year, only seven Pac-10 freshman had averaged 17.0 points or more... Three different freshmen scored 30 or more points in a game 11 times this season (four times each by Mayo and Bayless, once by Arizona State's Ty Abbott). The 39-point effort by Bayless against Arizona State (Feb. 9) ranks as the second best output by a freshman in league history... A record five different freshmen were tabbed Pac-10 Player of the Week this season.
The Rankings: Seven different Pac-10 teams have appeared in the Associated Press Top 25 this season (highest ranking included) - Arizona (17), Arizona State (22), Oregon (11), Stanford (7), UCLA (2), USC (18), and Washington State (4).
Home Sweet Home: The Pac-10 set an average attendance mark with 8,703 fans this season. The previous season-best average was 8,388 fans set during the 2000 season... In non-conference play, Pac-10 teams combined to go 70-10 (.875) at home. However, it was a different story in league play as the home teams were able to manage a 48-42 (.533) record in league play. It was lowest win total for the home team in Pac-10 history, edging the 49-41 record compiled during the 1980-81 season.
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