No. 8 Seed UCLA Faces No. 1 Seed Nebraska in NCAA 2nd Round

March 22, 2010

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GAMEDAY CENTRAL
***GAME #34: Tue., Mar 23, 2010
OPPONENT: Nebraska
SITE: Williams Arena, Minneapolis, MN
TIP-OFF: 8:35 p.m.CT/6:35 PT
TV: ESPN2/ESPNU
TALENT: Clay Matvick, Leslie Hill
AUDIO: uclabruins.com
TALENT: Dave Marcus, Mike Sondheimer, Tracy Murray
Note: the winner of the above game will play the winner of the Michigan State v. Kentucky game on Sun, Mar. 28 in Kansas City, MO

No. 22 Bruins At NCAA Tourney
Coach Nikki Caldwell's No. 22 UCLA Bruins (25-8), winners of 11 of the last 12 games, were selected as the # 8 seed in the Kansas City Region and will play top-seeded Nebraska (31-1) on Tuesday night at 8:30 p.m. CT/6:30 PT in a second round game to be held at the University of Minnesota's Williams Arena in Minneapolis, MN.

The Bruins won their first round game over North Carolina State, 74-54, on Sunday night. Jasmine Dixon led four Bruins in double digits in the win over the Wolfpack.

UCLA's win over NC State was the team's 25th of the year, which ranks as fourth-most in school history.

Tournament Experience
UCLA entered the 2010 Tournament having no players with previous NCAA experience. All 12 players who suited up against NC State on Sunday saw action.

Coach Nikki Caldwell, who registered her first NCAA Tournament win as a head coach, has plenty of NCAA experience. She was a player at Tennessee and an assistant coach at both Virginia and Tennessee. Caldwell owns three NCAA championship rings. She was a member of Tennessee's 1991 National Championship squad. She was also an assistant coach on the 2007 and 2008 Tennesssee Lady Vol National Championship teams.

This is UCLA's 10th overall appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The Bruins have posted a record of 9-9 in tournament action.

The Bruins completed the regular season with a 70-46 loss to No. 2 Stanford in the championship game of the Pac-10 Conference Tournament. That setback snapped a string of 10 straight wins. In fact, second-ranked Stanford is the only team to defeat the Bruins (Feb . 4, March 14) since mid-January.

TV/Radio Notes -- All games of the NCAA Tournament in which the Bruins participate will be radio broadcast live on the internet at www.uclabruins.com. Dave Marcus, Tracy Murray and Michael Sondheimer will be on hand to call the tournament action. ESPN is providing television coverage (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN Full Court) of all 63 games in the 2010 NCAA women's basketball tournament.

The Votes Are in - Ranked Bruins
The Bruins have received votes in the two major Top-25 polls in each of the last four weeks of the regular season.UCLA was tabbed as the No. 22 team in the ESPN/ USA Today Coaches Poll for the week of March 15 and is listed at No. 22 in the most recent AP poll.

Pac-10 Post-Season Honors
Nikki Caldwell was named Pac-10 Coach of the Year by both the coaches and the media, becoming the first UCLA women's coach ever to win this award. Doreena Campbell and Jasmine Dixon were chosen to the 15-member All-Pac-10 team, while Markel Walker was an honorable mention selection. Walker was also named to the All-Freshman first team and to the honorable mention All-Defensive team. The Pac-10 media selected Dixon and Walker to the All-Pac-10 team and Walker to the All-Freshman team.

UCLA Finishes 2nd in Pac-10
UCLA finished in second-place in the Pac-10 regular season standings and earned the #2 seed into the conference tournament.The #2 seed was UCLA's highest ever for the tournament, which began in 2001-02. The Bruins won the Pac-10 Tournament, once before, in the 2005-06 season.

The second-place finish is UCLA's best since it captured a share of first-place in the 1998-99 season, which is the Bruins' lone Pac-10 title. UCLA has finished second (tied) in the Pac-10 conference, once before, in 1997-98.

Strong Pac-10 Performance
UCLA's 15-3 record in conference play matches its best performance ever in the Pac-10. The 1998-99 team captured a share of first place with a 15-3 finish.

The Bruins won eight out of nine conference games in the second-half of Pac-10 play. It is the most wins ever by a Bruin team down the stretch in the Pac-10. UCLA had won as many as seven Pac-10 second-half games on three previous occasions, each with a 7-2 record, and all three helped put them into the NCAA Tournament (2005-06, 2003-04, 1997-98).

The Bruins' 7-2 first half Pac-10 start was the team's best since it began the 1999-00 conference season with six consecutive wins and also finished with a 7-2 mark. In 1998-99, UCLA opened with nine straight wins in Pac-10 play. The Bruins have had only three previous Pac-10 first half results with seven or more wins (7-2 in 1999-00; 9-0 in 1998-99; 7-2 in 1997-98) NOTE -- first Pac-10 season was 1986-87.

UCLA's NCAA Tournament History
This is the 10th overall NCAA Tournament appearance for the Bruins and the first since the 2006 tournament. UCLA's all-time NCAA Tournament record is 9-9 (3-1 at home; 2-5 away; 4-3 at neutral sites).

Coach Caldwell is coaching her first NCAA Tournament games in this year's classic. However, she has played in the NCAA Tournament and been an assistant coach on Virginia and Tennessee teams which have played in the Tournament. The 2007 and 2008 Tennessee team captured back-to-back NCAA championships with Caldwell on staff. She was a player on the 1991 Tennessee team which won the NCAA title.

About The Opponent
Nebraska (31-1)--- The Bruins lead the series with the 'Huskers by a 4-0 count. The last meeting came in Honolulu, HI, on Nov. 27, 1998, an 85-67 Bruin win. Common Oppt.--Nebraska defeated Washington St. (107-54), St. Mary's (84-73), Texas Tech (89-47), Kansas (67-60 / 77-52). NU won its first 30 games of the season before losing to Texas A&M in the semifinal of the Big 12 Conference Tournament.

Vs. The NCAA Field
UCLA entered the post-season with a 1-4 record this season against teams in the 2010 NCAA Tournament. It faced two of the number one seeds in Stanford (0-3) and Tennessee (0-1), as well as #11 seed Princeton (1-0).

Seven in Top 50 In NCAA Stats
As of Mar. 14, the Bruin team was listed in the Top 58 of the latest NCAA national rankings in seven categories - 17th in rebound margin (6.5), 24th in steals/g (10.8), 31st in field goal% (43.7), 33rd in scoring defense (56.8), 35th in scoring margin (10.7), 47th in turnover margin (2.91), 50th in fg% defense (36.7). (Note-332 teams ranked).

This And That ...
The Bruins are 18-0 this season when scoring at least 64 points and have won their last 21 straight games under Coach Nikki Caldwell when hitting the 64-point mark ... UCLA is 21-5 since transfer Jasmine Dixon made her UCLA debut on Dec. 15... Dixon has scored in double digits in the last 11 games and 22 games overall ... The Bruins have shot better than 50% in 11 games this season, all wins ... The Bruin 10-game win streak was its longest since the 1998-99 team captured 10 straight ... The Bruins are 34-3 in the Caldwell era in games in which they have held an opponent to 60 points or less ... UCLA has never finished with more than 15 Pac-10 conference wins---1998-99 (also 15-T1st) when Maylana Martin was the leading scorer... UCLA has finished with 20 wins or more in five seasons since Pac-10 play began in 1986-87--- 2009-10, 2005-06 (21), 1998-99 (26), 1997-98 (20), 1991-92 (21) and have advanced to the NCAA Tournament in each of those seasons --- note: UCLA also had 20-win seasons in 1984-85 (20), 1980-81(29), 1978-79 (24), 1977-78 (27), 1976-77 (20) ... Nikki Caldwell is the first UCLA coach to be named Conference Coach of the Year since Billie Moore earned WCAA Coach of the Year honors in 1984-85.

Defensive Dandies
The Bruins have held opponents in 29 of 33 games to 70 points or less, 28 opponents to 65 points or less and 23 to 60 points or less. UCLA held eight straight opponents to less than 60 points earlier this season, one shy of the school record stretch of nine set in the 1974-75 season.

In addition, none of the Bruins' last 37 opponents has shot better than 50% from the field. Opponents are shooting .366 on the year. Twenty-two opponents have shot less than 40% this season and just two have shot over 44% (Stanford, 50%, at UW 46%). Opponents are scoring 56.8 ppg. Both opponent marks - shooting % and scoring defense - approach or would set the school record totals of .355 in 1976-77 for shooting % and 59.7 ppg in 1976-77.

The 21.7 fg% shot by Cal (2/6) was an opponent season-low and the fourth time this season the Bruins have held an opponent to less than 30% shooting (at Cal, at WSU, Cal, Utah).

In Coach Caldwell's two seasons at the helm, her Bruin teams have held 37 opponents to 60 points or less, 12 opponents to 50 points or less and four to 40 points or less. UCLA has held two opponents to sub-40 scoring games this season - Cal with 32 and Utah with 33.

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