UCLA feels Jordan Adams' absence in loss to Oregon
LAS VEGAS — UCLA couldn't drum up one last comeback when it mattered most and fell to Oregon in the Pac-12 Tournament championship game on Saturday, in part because it was missing Jordan Adams, its second leading scorer.
Adams broke the fifth metatarsal in his right foot on the last play of Friday's semifinal win over Arizona after scoring 24 points. The Bruins' season will live on next week in the NCAA tournament. However, the Bruins are 0-1 without their star freshman guard and his absence will likely cost them in the eyes of the selection committee, according to CBS Sports bracket expert Jerry Palm. Palm dropped UCLA, the Pac-12's regular season champion, two seeds in his latest bracket, which doesn't sit will with coach Ben Howland's team.
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"Our players have done nothing wrong to be penalized," Howland said after Saturday's 78-69 loss. Adams contributed 15.3 points per game and got to the free throw line more than any of his teammates. UCLA was forced to shuffle its starting lineup – inserting sophomore Norman Powell – and defensive rotations in his absence on Saturday. "One of our good players got injured but that doesn't mean we're worse of a team," freshman forward Shabazz Muhammad said. "Our body of work this season shows that we're a good team," redshirt junior forward David Wear said. "I don't think we should be penalized because Jordan got hurt, especially after how hard we've worked all season and how hard we've worked in this tournament." UCLA and the rest of the Pac-12 teams headed to the Big Dance will discover their tournament fates Sunday at 3 p.m. on CBS.
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