Bruins Prepare for Rematch with Florida in the Final Four

March 26, 2007


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DATE: March 31, 2007
SITE: Georgia Dome (Atlanta)
TIP-OFF: 5:47 p.m. PDT
TALENT: Jim Nantz (play-by-play), Billy Packer (analyst)
TALENT: Chris Roberts (play-by-play), Don MacLean (analyst)
SERIES: Florida leads 1-0

#2 UCLA vs. #1 FLORIDA
This is just the second meeting between Florida and UCLA with the Gators winning the only previous meeting last year in the national championship game 73-57 on April 3, 2006. Florida held a 36-25 halftime lead at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis. Jordan Farmar scored a game-high 18 points to lead three Bruins in double figures. Arron Afflalo and Ryan Hollins each scored 10 points. Joakim Noah led a quartet of Gators in double figures with 16 points while Lee Humphrey added 15 points. The Bruins outrebounded Florida 40-35 but the Gators had 10 blocks to just one for UCLA.

This is the Bruins' 41st NCAA Tournament appearance and the third-straight for UCLA under head coach Ben Howland. This is also UCLA's first back-to-back Final Four appearances since 1975 (Coach: John Wooden) and 1976 (Coach: Gene Bartow). UCLA has an all-time winning percentage of .740 in the NCAA Tournament with a record of 94-33. UCLA's 94 victories rank second only to Kentucky's 100. The .740 winning percentage also ranks second behind Duke's .752.

Junior guard Arron Afflalo was named consensus first team All-America today (Mar. 26) by the Associated Press, the first Bruin since Charles O'Bannon in 1997 to be named first team All-America and the first since Ed O'Bannon in 1995 to be a consensus selection.


UCLA ...
• Won its second-straight Pacific-10 Conference title in 2007 with a 15-3 record.
• Completed the first true undefeated home season (16-0) since 1974-75 (32 seasons). The 1994-95 squad was 15-0 at home, but it included a forfeit win over California (after the Bruins originally lost the game 100-93).
• Has made 240 three-point field goals this season, which is a new school record, surpassing last year's school mark of 236 three- pointers. The 637 three-point attempts rank second behind last season's 682 tries.
• Has registered 263 steals this season, which is sixth on the UCLA all-time list.
• Averages 33.4 points and shoots .457 from the floor, .340 from three and .606 from the line in the first half of games. In the second half, it averages 37.9 points and is shooting .507 from the floor, .420 from three and .698 from the line.
• Has won 30 or more games in back-to-back seasons for the first time since coach John Wooden's 1971-72 and 1972-73 national championship squads posted back-to-back 30-0 seasons.


UCLA ...
• Has advanced to its 17th Final Four (leads the nation), and its second straight Final Four appearance (first back-to-back since 1975-76).
• Advanced to the Sweet 16 for the second straight year, which is actually tied with Florida, Georgetown and Memphis for the longest current most consecutive appearances in the Sweet 16. This is UCLA's 16th Sweet 16 appearance, which ranks fourth all-time.
• Made its 20th appearance in a Regional Final and now has a record of 17-3 (.850) in Elite Eight games.
• Made its first back-to-back appearances in a Regional Championship game since the 1979 and 1980 Tournaments. The top-seeded Bruins lost 91-95 to second-seeded DePaul in the 1979 West Regional Final. Then the eighth-seeded Bruins upset sixth-seeded Clemson 85-74 in the 1980 West Regional Final. UCLA ultimately lost 54-59 to second-seeded Louisville in the National Championship game.
• Head Coach Ben Howland was the first UCLA head coach to reach back-to-back Regional Championship games since legendary coach John Wooden accomplished the feat from 1967 to 1975 (nine straight).
• UCLA is holding its NCAA Tournament opponents to 50.2 points per game (none of the first four opponents have scored more than 55 points). The Bruins have also held all three opponents to under 42 percent shooting from the floor (and only Kansas at 41.1 percent has shot better than 40 percent from the field against UCLA's defense). For the four games, UCLA is allowing its opponents to shoot just 36.3 percent (73-for-201) from the field and 37.0 percent (17-for-46) from three-point range. Additionally, the opponents are only shooting 55.9 percent (38-for-68) from the free-throw line.
• In the Elite Eight win over Kansas, UCLA became the first team this season to shoot 50 percent or better againt the Jayhawk's defense. The Bruins shot 53.3 percent (24-for-45) from the field for the game while holding Kansas to 41.1 percent (23-for-56).

• Put UCLA in the national championship game and give the Bruins a chance to increase their nation's-leading national championship total to 12 titles in the sport of men's basketball. It would also give the Bruins an opportunity to win UCLA its 100th overall NCAA National Championship (the Bruins' current total of 99 national titles leads the nation).
• Improve its record to 1-1 overall against Florida and 1-1 in the NCAA Tournament vs. the Gators.
• Give the Bruins their second straight NCAA Tournament victory over a No. 1 seed.
• Put the Bruins in their second-consecutive National Championship game.
• Give UCLA a second-straight Final Four victory over an SEC team (defeated LSU 59-45 in last year's Final Four).
• Improve UCLA's neutral court record to 9-1 this season and to 15-5 away from Pauley Pavilion.
• Improve UCLA's record against ranked teams to 12-1 (.923) this season.
• Improve UCLA's record against teams in the 2007 NCAA Tournament to 18-2 (.900) this season.
• Avenge last year's 73-57 loss to Florida in the 2006 NCAA National Championship game.

The UCLA Bruins sport an impressive 11-1 (.917) record against ranked teams in 2006-07. UCLA defeated #20 Kentucky and #19 Georgia Tech in the Maui Invitational and #6 Texas A&M in the John R. Wooden Classic at Honda Center. Then the Bruins posted Pac-10 wins over #13 Washington, #11 Arizona, #9 Oregon, #19 USC, at #19 Arizona and at #13 Washington State. The Bruins only loss to a ranked team was at #16 Oregon, a 68-66 nail-biter on Jan. 6, 2007 in Eugene, Ore. UCLA defeated #10 Pittsburgh in the Sweet 16 and #2 Kansas in the Elite Eight.

The UCLA Bruins sport an impressive 17-2 (.895) record against teams in the 2007 NCAA Tournament field. UCLA has defeated Brigham Young, Kentucky, Georgia Tech, Long Beach State, Texas A&M, Weber State, Indiana, Pittsburgh, Kansas, Oregon, Stanford, Arizona (twice), USC (twice) and Washington State (twice). The Bruins' losses were to Oregon and Stanford. UCLA also has a 6-1 record against teams that advanced to the Sweet 16 (2-0 vs. USC, 1-0 vs. Texas A&M, 1-0 vs. Pittsburgh, 1-0 vs. Kansas and 1-1 vs. Oregon).

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