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Thread: Let's talk about UCLA, Utah & Duke....this is a week of great entertainment and fun

  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by sonuvazag View Post
    I personally don't mind speaking about all three teams in the regional. I'm sure the coaches are looking at all of them.

    I also get the fan base's wish to look beyond UCLA because losing THIS S16 matchup when favored is almost the unspeakable. For those of us who remember the last one clearly, is the scab even healed yet?

    I really doubt the team and coaches are so worried. Their rising energy level is just coming to the surface. They wanted to reach the S16 not as an achievement but to play these next game(s).

    As for UCLA, I have followed their games down the stretch a bit and it seemed they had a different player break out each game. All their players are talented and they are a team to be respected.

    But I also remember what the Zags squad looked like against SMU et cetera and it feels like they are getting back to that same mojo. This Zags team at full force is even more.
    Alford worries me the most if he gets hot from 3. Powell is next in line. Then probably Looney. Hamilton torched USC for 30+ in the Pac 12 Tourney I believe, but that was completely a statistical outlier. He doesn't do much most games. Parker killed UAB inside but he's been almost invisible most games all year long against teams with any legit big men. They have almost nothing on the bench. So if the Zags can keep Alford and Powell from going off, I feel really good about their chances.

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    Quote Originally Posted by seacatfan View Post
    That's an interesting chart, thanks for putting that together. North Carolina has a bit of a rep for being a bad 3 point FG defense (among their own fans as much as anybody). They have the most attempts by their opponents of any of the 16, but one of the lowest percentages. Hmm...

    Also interesting that Kentucky has the lowest %. Everyone always talks about their interior defense, but they must be pretty good with perimeter D as well.
    The funny thing is Pepperdine is ranked #2 ahead of Kentucky with same 27% but fewer made

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    Quote Originally Posted by seacatfan View Post
    Alford worries me the most if he gets hot from 3. Powell is next in line. Then probably Looney. Hamilton torched USC for 30+ in the Pac 12 Tourney I believe, but that was completely a statistical outlier. He doesn't do much most games. Parker killed UAB inside but he's been almost invisible most games all year long against teams with any legit big men. They have almost nothing on the bench. So if the Zags can keep Alford and Powell from going off, I feel really good about their chances.
    Agreed. A good defensive game is the key. We're not talking about having trouble scoring, bad shooting notwithstanding.
    Agent provocateur

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    Great thread. Great posts. This was my intention when I started this thread. Heck! It's Tuesday and the games don't start for two days, and the Gonzaga game doesn't begin 'til Friday, I just feel we need to talk about the teams in our region NOW. I understand the concern that we are talking about Duke and Utah now when we play UCLA first because i used to feel that way. A week or two ago I felt that CDC really cleared up this notion that we shouldn't talk about other other teams we play until we play them, when he said that that was what the team does and we members of this board can talk about any team we wish. It's not our job to focus on team one day at a time. I kind of agree a little bit of both camps, so I go the middle route, and not talk about other games most of the time. but THIS IS THE NCAA TOURNAMENT and we only have a couple of more weeks to talk about these teams, so the let's talk. Who knows we may never play Duke so it's an opportunity to talk about them now.

    I sure hope I'm not cocky. I really don't like that. Yet, I want to feel free to say what I want to say about UCLA and any team. I don't like UCLA. Bryce Alford is a very very good guard. He may be one of the best in the country and he's really going to challenge the Zags. He will be as difficult to guard as White was on Sunday. I also like his dad, and I think he's a very good coach. He's proven that. Coach Alford has done a great job with this team. The Bruins are a good team right now, but I am just not scared at all. They have some real good talent, but not great yet. IMO they are a year away from being great.

    To say that they could be the talk of the tournament is nonsense to me. Why aren't they? You seem to think because many feel that they should never have made it into the tournament. I disagree with you. Most teams who were on the path that UCLA found to the Sweet 16 would be talked about a lot. I think the reason that they advanced to the Round of 32 was because of that HORRIBLE call at the end of the game against SMU. Let's call it luck, or FATE. It is their fate to lose to us so we can finally let go of that horrible memory in '06 or it is their fate to once again hold us back from moving into the Elite 8. Which shall it be. I merely hope that it is the first reason. I think we, the Zags and ZagNation need to be freed from that memory. And I am so happy that we have this opportunity to step up and play the way we know how and let that memory go into eternity. I think that one hell of a lot of Zag fans have very strong feelings about this game. VERY STRONG. hahhahahaha I'm not going to hide mine. I try my hardest to be objective in my posts, but sometimes, like right now I just can't be. It's not the Bruins' fault that they won that game. It was, imo a bad call. And I remember how I felt after that bad call was made. And I know how SMU fans feel. And remember that the game is going to be played near their campus, and I really don't believe that there will be many Texans pulling for UCLA.

    I am very glad that UCLA made the Sweet 16. They come from the Pac 12 and I really like the PAC 12. They are our neighbors. But I sure like to beat them when we play them. And for the reasons that I have just said, I am glad we're playing them this year. I think the Committee put them in the same reason with us just to see if it could be fate who once more brings the two of us together, and to see who wins this time around. Ever since 2006 I have really hoped to have a second chance to play UCLA in the NCAA Tournament. And that moment is now here. I will hope and pray with all I have that the Zags "push on through to the other side," as the great Jim Morrison of the Doors would sing. This is my theme song for this game.
    Go Zags!!! The Best Is Yet To Come!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zagceo View Post
    The funny thing is Pepperdine is ranked #2 ahead of Kentucky with same 27% but fewer made
    So why aren't they Dancing and still alive?

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    Just saw a video clip on ESPN of the '06 game against UCLA. Yep. They showed Morrison crying. One note on UCLA in '06. They were the #2 seed and Gonzaga was the #3 seed that year in the tournament. This year it is Gonzaga who is the #2 seed and UCLA the 11. I am glad they are here and that we play them.
    Go Zags!!! The Best Is Yet To Come!!!

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    I feel similar about UCLA as I did Iowa. Of course both teams have good players and are totally capable of beating Gonzaga. I feel strongly that GU is a better team than either of them, and if the Zags play up to their capabilities they will advance. I don't think that's being cocky. In either match up it's entirely possible GU will lose, but I don't fear either team. I'm actually really curious to see what GU does in their rematch with UCLA. The Bruins played Arizona really close in 2 games this year. It frustrated me because I think Arizona is way better and shouldn't have had that much trouble with UCLA. Zags handled them much more easily at Pauley Pavilion than UA did in either Tucson or neutral court in Vegas.

    Reborn--UCLA will lose Powell to graduation and fairly good chance Looney declares early for the draft. Not sure they are going to be any better next year, they could be worse unless they pick up a couple studs in the late signing period.

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    Here's my 2 cents on UCLA loss ………means very little to the players and so much to fans. These players have rallied around the Seniors as Kyle said on the court in the interview after the Iowa game.

    I carry victory's in my memory and flush loses. The harder the loss the faster the flush…….just my DNA.

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    Quote Originally Posted by seacatfan View Post
    I feel similar about UCLA as I did Iowa. Of course both teams have good players and are totally capable of beating Gonzaga. I feel strongly that GU is a better team than either of them, and if the Zags play up to their capabilities they will advance. I don't think that's being cocky. In either match up it's entirely possible GU will lose, but I don't fear either team. I'm actually really curious to see what GU does in their rematch with UCLA. The Bruins played Arizona really close in 2 games this year. It frustrated me because I think Arizona is way better and shouldn't have had that much trouble with UCLA. Zags handled them much more easily at Pauley Pavilion than UA did in either Tucson or neutral court in Vegas.

    Reborn--UCLA will lose Powell to graduation and fairly good chance Looney declares early for the draft. Not sure they are going to be any better next year, they could be worse unless they pick up a couple studs in the late signing period.
    Thanks for the update.
    Go Zags!!! The Best Is Yet To Come!!!

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    Dickau, on his radio show, was commenting on how lighting fast Alford's jumper is, which makes it really hard to guard. He said something to the effect that. when he gives up the ball as PG and might be working off a screen, the key is not letting him get the pass b/c it is so hard to be in position to guard. I am not sure if he mentioned Bell specifically, but I think that the consensus is that Bell is the best off the ball defender we've had in a long time. That's what Bell does, makes it near impossible for a guy to even get the pass, far more so than playing him tight once he gets the pass - though he does that, too, just not as well.

    I think that's why Gary has had so much success keeping Hawes way below average, precisely b/c he doesn't get the pass. Alford is the PG so it's not that he works off the ball a lot, but it does seem to be an advantage having Bell following him once they leave the hotel.
    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
    Mark Twain.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zagsfanforlife View Post
    I appreciate the good vibes! Thanks brotha! That would be something. Regardless, the season has been a wonderful ride.

    I also never mentioned this, but before the season started I just started talking again to a kid i grew up with who happened to be my best friend as a youngster. I told him also to put a few hundred on the Zags as I thought they would have a chance. The guy knew nothing about this team, but we used to have our parents follow the Zags bus around to the local hotel and ask for autographs as 8 year olds so he did it for nostalgic purposes. Neither of us are big timers with a lot of $$ but we thought what the hell. Even if we lose, we are still living with our parents. He has shared this ride with me, and its renewed a friendship from long ago. LETS GO ZAGS!
    Wife goes on a ladies trip to sin city every summer, I have had her throw $20 on the Zags every time for 12 or 13 years. This last summer i had her throw $50 down at 50/1. GO ZAGS!

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    I have really been wondering how much better UCLA really is then they were earlier in the year when they played Gonzaga at home. I began to think that maybe it's just a myth that's been created to justify them being selected to play in the tournament. I began to question this idea when I heard about them playing UAB earlier in the year. And basically they won by about the same margin. So just a minute ago I finally decided to do some research on the BRUINS. Looking at their year I do not see that they have played any better at the end of the year. Like so many teams this year the Bruins had difficulty winning on the road, and were really good at home. If it had not been for the Zags they would have been undefeated at home this year. I have heard about this win streak that they were on so I just checked it out. Yes they did win four games in a row coming into the tournament. But the teams? They beat WSU and the Huskies (at home) and USC at home, and then the beat USC in the first game of the conference tournament. I would not call these quality wins. They have one quality victory and that was Utah at home by ten. That was in late January. When they played Utah on the rode they lost by 31. And then also lost a road game to Kentucky by 39. People have talked a lot about this loss to Kentucky but I haven't heard a word about them losing to Utah by 31. They lost two road games in Feburary, losing to Cal on Feb 2nd and to Arizona St on Feb 21. I would say that those two losses were fairly recent. Yes they did beat Oregon at home and did not play them on the road; so that's pretty standard in conference in the Pac 12. I don't really see a good win in February at all, and like I just explained the have one good win against Oregon but because it was at home I would not say it was significant. Honestly, I definitely feel that there could be a better argument made for UCLA to NOT get into the tournament then the one made for letting them play. I can see why so many were upset.

    So honestly, I am not buying this current myth that UCLA IS that much better now. In my opinion Iowa has a much better resume then UCLA, and I believe that if the two had been matched up that Iowa would win. And honestly, I was surprised when UCLA beat SMU. I was watching the game and actually left because I believe that UCLA had no chance of winning late in the game. They must have had another incredible finish to that game too, and of course another lucky call.
    Go Zags!!! The Best Is Yet To Come!!!

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    Reborn--totally agree, UCLA's schedule was cake at the end of the regular season. Picked up 3 home wins against bad teams in conference. Don't see how that boosted their resume at all. Ditto for beating USC (again) in the conference tourney. I honestly thought their Tourney hopes were completely DOA after they dropped consecutive games on the road against ASU and Arizona. I think their close loss against Arizona in the conference tourney semifinals more than anything else is what got them in. I'm not quite sure how a loss, no matter how close it is, worked in their favor, but it did. Wins against Utah and Oregon count as quality wins, but as you noted they were at home and they didn't do very well on the road in conference. They swept Stanford but the Card nosedived at the end of the year and missed the Tourney (after being considered a near lock at least halfway thru the season). They did play Oregon twice though, and of course lost on the road. Not only did they lose in Eugene, they also lost in Corvallis to OSU. Both losses were by double digits. They were only 2-7 on the road in conference games. They beat NOBODY in OOC. They did not have a tourney worthy resume, and it really wasn't even close.

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    They called it “Hell Week,” and at the time, Utah basketball players hated the experience in September.
    How many college kids want to spend three days with two U.S. Navy SEAL commanders? Who wants to sleep on a weight room floor and get phones and watches taken away so there's no sense of time? Why would you want to roll through the sand and get tormented physically and emotionally?
    LINK

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    .
    1. Sabonis emerges as a star in Gonzaga’s win against Utah, first Final Four berth:It’s more than the genes. Yes, Sabonis is the son of the former Portland Trail Blazers big man. You can see it with his footwork, his court awareness and his focus on the floor. He’s so precise in his actions. Here’s the thing, though. Sabonis is so selfless that he’s essentially lingered in the background throughout this remarkable season for Few’s program. But we’ll see Sabonis take another step in his growth during the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight as he builds on Sunday’s 18-point (6-for-10), nine-rebound effort in Gonzaga’s win against Iowa. He’s legit. Sabonis will be the headliner in a memorable weekend for the Gonzaga program.
    Myron Medcalf


    .
    1. Gonzaga beats UCLA by 20: When these teams played in December, UCLA shot 47 percent from the 3-point line and still lost by 13. The Bruins were the most controversial addition to the field of 68 on Selection Sunday. A questionable finish against SMU in the opening round didn’t change that. But they played well in a win against UAB to reach the Sweet 16 for the second consecutive season. They are better than the team that lost to Gonzaga three months ago. But Gonzaga is better, too. Domantas Sabonis is slowly evolving into a Kelly Olynyk-like monster for Mark Few’s program. Gonzaga will get the win and advance to the Elite Eight for the first time since 1999, and the second time in school history.

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    totally agree with him
    Go Zags!!! The Best Is Yet To Come!!!

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    Utah clobbered UCLA early in the year by 32 and to UCLA's credit they beat Utah by 10 late in their season. I think they have improved and I think Utah is a good team.
    To Fish & Game: Keep streams stocked well for Mr. Few!

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrizZAG View Post
    Utah clobbered UCLA early in the year by 32 and to UCLA's credit they beat Utah by 10 late in their season. I think they have improved and I think Utah is a good team.
    To be a bit contrary, Utah was truly awful in the game at Pauley Pavilion and struggled on the road throughout the Pac 12 season.

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    Default UCLA by the numbers



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    Its Alford Looney

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    Larry Krystkoviak is the new coach on the block. He is from Montana (Born in Missoula and grew up in Shelby). He played for University of Montana, and later coached there. He played nine years in the NBA. He took two U of Montana teams to the NCAA Tournament. In 2006 the Grizzlies defeated 5th seed Nevada. He became the head coach of Utah in April of 2011. This is his 4th year at Utah. My thoughts about Krystkoviak when I watch him on the sidelines is that he's a pretty intense person, and his team plays like him. They are perhaps the top defensive team in the South region.
    Go Zags!!! The Best Is Yet To Come!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reborn View Post
    Larry Krystkoviak is the new coach on the block. He is from Montana (Born in Missoula and grew up in Shelby). He played for University of Montana, and later coached there. He played nine years in the NBA. He took two U of Montana teams to the NCAA Tournament. In 2006 the Grizzlies defeated 5th seed Nevada. He became the head coach of Utah in April of 2011. This is his 4th year at Utah. My thoughts about Krystkoviak when I watch him on the sidelines is that he's a pretty intense person, and his team plays like him. They are perhaps the top defensive team in the South region.
    Intense……… only if you consider bringing in seal instructors and putting players through hell week in pre season training.

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    Gonzaga vs UCLA in the Sweet 16- Preview http://www.zagaholic.com/2015/03/gon...-sweet-16.html

    ZagUp!

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