March 31, 2007

UCLA-Florida National Semifinal Preview

Special thanks to Michael Prodanovich of Orange County, CA, the only person I know who watches PAC-10 basketball, for submitting this piece for us.

Well my official game analysis has nothing to do with UCLA or Florida, but about history. In the 1990 championship game UNLV clobbered Duke. In the 2006 championship game, Florida clobbered UCLA. In the 1991 semifinals, UNLV and Duke met again in a rematch, with the previous winner being an overwhelming favorite. Ditto for Florida and UCLA this year. And with Ben Howland bringing in the top HS player in the country (Love) to UCLA next year, I predict a Duke-like upset, and a Duke-like run of dominance. So, say hello to Duke-west. Hey, UCLA, "THIS IS WHY YOU SUCK."

For some actual analysis, this is your classic mismatch game. UCLA has an overwhelming advantage in the back court, with Darren Collison as a classic pass-first point guard (think Jacque Vaughn but also a great outside shooter), and Arron Afflalo, the top two-guard in the country who can handle the ball, create his own shot, and has range to 25 feet. However, Florida's advantage on the front line is equally as strong with "call me" Al Horford and Jo-Kim "how many chick names can I have" Noah, with only 22% free throw shooter Lorenzo Mata being big enough to body them. I'd say UCLA should use their guard ability to trap and run...but they, like Florida are a defense-first team who likes to play a slow, bruising style of ball (when they played Wazzu in Pullman March 1st, that was #2 against #11, and with a final score of 53-45, it looked more like a football game than a basketball game). In a low scoring game, the underdog always has a chance, but in a defensive game, the team with the better front line usually has the advantage.

Now excuse me while I catch some rays...its 80 degrees outside.

0 Responses: