UCLA: Arizona

First look: UCLA vs. Arizona

March, 14, 2013
What: No. 21 UCLA Bruins (24-8) vs No. 18 Arizona Wildcats (25-6), Pac-12 Tournament semifinal

When: Friday, 6 p.m. PT

Where: MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas

TV: Pac-12 Networks

Radio: AM 570

Scouting the Bruins: Top-seeded UCLA has won six of its past seven games and is looking to get to the Pac-12 tournament final for the first time since winning it in 2008. The Bruins are coming off a hard-fought, 80-75 quarterfinal victory over Arizona State, in which they erased a 15-point, second-half deficit. In that game, the Bruins ended an 11-game streak of getting outrebounded and will need to keep that up to continue their success in the postseason. Shabazz Muhammad took his game to another level in the second half of that matchup when he scored 12 of his 16 points. Travis Wear also showed signs of emerging from his injury-related funk by making six of his last nine shots after starting the game zero for five. Larry Drew II continues to make teams pay for sagging off him. In the past 10 games, which includes when Arizona State and USC had success against UCLA by sagging off Drew, the senior point guard has shot 54.1 percent overall and 65.4 percent (17 of 26) on 3-pointers. He scored a season-high 20 points on 8-of-10 shooting -- including four for four on 3-pointers -- on Thursday and provided exactly the type of senior leadership this young team needs in the heat of the postseason. The Bruins lead all Pac-12 teams in scoring at 75.2 points per game, but Thursday represented the first time in nearly a month they had reached 80 points. They also lead the conference in shooting at 45.7 percent, but opponents are shooting 41.9 percent against UCLA, and the Bruins have allowed five consecutive opponents to shoot 40 percent or better.

Scouting the Wildcats: No. 4-seeded Arizona stumbled a bit down the stretch with losses in two of its final three regular-season games that knocked the Wildcats out of the conference title race and into the No. 4 seed for the tournament, but they are looking to reach the conference tournament final for the third consecutive year. After defeating Colorado 79-69 Thursday in the quarterfinals, the Wildcats have won consecutive games in fairly convincing fashion. The key number for them is 70 points on the defensive end, as they are 23-0 when holding teams under that threshold. They are very balanced on offense and are second to UCLA among conference teams in scoring at 73.6 points per game. Mark Lyons is the leader with 14.8 points per game, but Solomon Hill (13.5) and Nick Johnson (11.8) are not far behind, and all are very capable of scoring 20-plus points. The Wildcats like to score from all over the floor and lead the conference in 3-pointers made with 238. Lyons has 56 while Hill, Johnson and Kevin Parrom each have at least 35. Kaleb Tarczewski, a 7-foot freshman center, presents a matchup issue for the size-challenged Bruins and leads the team with 5.9 rebounds per game. Hill, Parrom and Brandon Ashley also average more than five rebounds for the Wildcats, who are among the conference leaders with a plus-6.1 rebounding margin.

The series: UCLA leads the series 51-37. The Bruins swept the regular season with an 84-73 victory in Tucson and a 74-69 victory at Pauley Pavilion and will be trying to go 3-0 against the Wildcats for only the second time in school history. The only other time the Bruins did so was in 2006. UCLA is 3-2 against Arizona in Pac-12 tournament history, including a 66-58 Arizona victory in the quarterfinals last season. UCLA and Arizona met in a conference tournament semifinal only once: UCLA's 71-59 victory in 2006.

Two games selected for national TV

May, 10, 2011
UCLA will have the nation's eyes at least twice next season, as ESPN and ABC announced Tuesday that they will televise the Texas and Arizona games.

The Bruins' home game against the Longhorns (Saturday, Sept. 17) will air on both networks. ESPN will televise UCLA's game at Arizona (Thursday, Oct. 20).

UCLA went 1-4 when playing on ABC/ESPN last season, losing to Kansas State, Stanford, Oregon and Washington by a combined score of 150-42. Their win came at Texas, 34-12.

Fox Sports Net, FX and Versus will select Pac-12 games in early June and then UCLA will work to round out its local TV package.


Schedule of game for this week's Pac-10 Tournament at Staples Center:
Game 1 -- Wednesday: No. 8 Stanford vs. No. 9 Oregon State , 6 p.m. TV: FSN
Game 2 -- Wednesday: No. 7 Oregon vs. No. 10 Arizona State, 8:30 p.m. TV: FSN
Game 3 -- Thursday: No. 4 USC vs. No. 5 California, Noon TV: FSN
Game 4 -- Thursday: No. 1 Arizona vs. Game 1 winner, 2:30 p.m. TV: FSN
Game 5 -- Thursday No. 2 UCLA vs. Game 2 winner , 6 p.m. TV: FSN
Game 6 -- Thursday: No. 3 Washington vs. No. 6 Washington State, 8:30 p.m. TV: FSN
Game 7 -- Friday: Game 3 Winner vs. Game 4 winner 6, p.m. TV: FSN
Game 8 -- Friday: Game 5 Winner vs. Game 6 winner , 8:30 p.m. TV: FSN
Final -- Saturday: Pac-10 Tournament Championship, 3 p.m.. TV: CBS

Video: Tyler Trapani makes final basket at Pauley

February, 26, 2011

At the half: UCLA 40, Arizona 30

February, 26, 2011
LOS ANGELES -- It looks like "old" Pauley Pavilion might be going out in style.

UCLA leads No. 10 Arizona, 40-30, at the break behind 16 points and 10 rebounds from Reeves Nelson. The Bruins are 19-0 this season when holding a lead of at least 10 points.

The Pauley crowd has been the loudest of the season. By the look of it, UCLA didn't necessarily accomplish its "Blue Out, Sell Out" goal, but it's been rowdy and involved.

Nelson also has three assists and is 6 for 8 from the field. Joshua Smith has nine points, Tyler Honeycutt has eight. Derrick Williams has 13 points for the Pac-10 leading Wildcats.

UCLA is shooting 58.6 percent.

UCLA plans "Blue Out" for last game at Pauley

February, 17, 2011
UCLA is encouraging basketball fans to "Blue Out" Pauley Pavilion next Saturday, Feb. 26.

It will be the Bruins' last game at Pauley before the venue closes for renovation. Pauley is scheduled to re-open for the 2012-13 season.

Fans will be able to take photographs on Nell & John Wooden Court after UCLA's and Pac-10 leader Arizona do battle.

Defensive backs hung out to dry

November, 1, 2010
UCLA's lack of pass rush is catching up with the defensive backs.

Arizona backup quarterback Matt Scott torched the Bruins on Saturday, doing his best Nick Foles impersonation by throwing for a career-high 319 yards on 24-for-36 passing. He also added 71 yards rushing, many of them coming after dodged sack attempts and slipped away from UCLA lineman.

A week prior, Oregon's Darron Thomas also had a career-high 308 yards and three touchdowns against UCLA. He did all of that without taking the field in the fourth quarter.

Watch what preseason All-American safety Rahim Moore and cornerback Aaron Hester, who recorded his first-career interception Saturday, had to say following UCLA's 29-21 loss to the Wildcats:

Video: Rick Neuheisel talks loss to Arizona

October, 30, 2010

Grades: Arizona-UCLA

October, 30, 2010

Richard Brehaut’s 68-yard touchdown pass to Randall Carroll -- the longest Bruin TD completion since 2007 -- and 49-yard bomb to Josh Smith on a flea flicker brought the Rose Bowl crowd to its feet. The aerial game was as exciting as it’s been all year.


UCLA had only 71 yards rushing and just five (yes, five) after halftime. Arizona contained both Johnathan Franklin (44 yards) and Derrick Coleman (42), as the Bruins had a long of 13 for the day. The run-oriented pistol seems to be one of those hit-or-miss things.


Despite struggling on run plays, UCLA’s offensive line was superb in pass protection. Arizona -- the conference leader in sacks heading into Saturday -- didn’t get to Brehaut until the final two drives. The big problem: UCLA’s defensive line wasn’t any better.


At this point, you have to start wondering if defensive coordinator Chuck Bullough is on the hot seat. The Wildcats were eight for 16 on third-down conversions and piled up 32 first downs. UCLA gave up 264 yards rushing and another 319 yards through the air.


Damien Thigpen returned his first kickoff 45 yards, but suffered a broken right clavicle bone when he landed awkwardly. Replacement Josh Smith needed three returns to get to 49 yards. Jeff Locke punted four times for 280 yards, while Kai Forbath did not attempt a field goal.


Another week, another batch of questionable play calls. Down five with nearly 10 minutes remaining, the Bruins had the ball at Arizona’s 35. But the boo birds came down hard when a nine-yard loss and a pair of conservative calls forced a UCLA punt.

First Look: Arizona Wildcats at UCLA

October, 26, 2010

Chris Morrison/US Presswire
Arizona quarterback Nick Foles sat out last week's game against Washington because of a knee injury.

Arizona will bring the most prolific passing game in the Pac-10 when the Wildcats visit the Rose Bowl Saturday for a 12:30 p.m. game against UCLA, though it’s unclear who will be directing the offense.

But with the way Arizona plays defense, it might not matter.

Arizona quarterback Nick Foles, who has 1,600 yards and nine touchdowns passing, is questionable to play because of a knee injury that kept him out last week, but backup Matt Scott filled in admirably last Saturday against Washington.

Scott, who began last season as the starter before losing the job to Foles, passed for 233 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 65 yards in only seven carries as he led the Arizona to a 44-14 rout over the Huskies.

“He’s more of a running threat,” UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel said of Scott. “Nick Foles is a very, very good player. A sure NFL prospect and I don’t know if he’ll be back or not, but the Scott kid is certainly very athletic and very accurate.”

(Read full post)

Larry Scott discusses the new divisions as the Pac-10 grows to the Pac-12.video

Nelson the difference as UCLA moves on to semis

March, 11, 2010
So UCLA stayed alive Thursday afternoon, beating Arizona 75-69 in the quarterfinals of the Pacific 10 Conference tournament at Staples Center.

The Bruins had lost to the Wildcats twice this season, the latest coming just a week ago in Tucson. But the third matchup turned out to be the charm.

Speaking of charms, freshman Reeves Nelson was clearly UCLA's lucky piece. He scored a game-high 19 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in his return from a two-week absence as he recovered (both physically and mentally) from laser surgery to repair a partially torn retina in his left eye.

Really, all Nelson could complain about was a pair of goggle malfunctions -- they fogged up and even broke at one point during the game.

"It's hard because they fog up and the nose piece falls out," Nelson said. "Other than that, when you're in the game you're not really thinking about the goggles on your face, you're thinking about the job you have to do."

The job was providing a spark. And after not having him for the last four games, UCLA went to Nelson early and often.

"He's basically automatic inside," guard Malcolm Lee said. "When you throw it in, you can count on getting a bucket."

Nelson's effect was clear and evident by his eight makes in nine tries. Without him, the Bruins seem one-dimensional, mostly relying on the perimeter shooting of Michael Roll and Nikola Dragovic. With him, there's a post presence other teams must respect.

"He makes a difference," Dragovic said. "We try to use him as much as we can."

Said Lee: "He was telling me the risks [of returning] and I was thinking that maybe he should stay out. He made the decision to come on the court and that just shows how much heart he has. He's all about this team."
UCLA leads Arizona by four at the half behind 12 points from both Michael Roll and Reeves Nelson.

Of course, we've seen this before (see: last week in Tucson, Ariz.). But for the most part, No. 4 seed UCLA looks like a team that wants to keep playing.

Nelson, wearing protective goggles to help ease his "apprehension" regarding his eyes, has made all six of his attempts. Roll, meanwhile, has bounced back nicely from a poor shooting performance in a loss to Arizona State last Saturday. He has hit five shots.

The Bruins came out playing man-to-man, but have switched to zone from time to time. UCLA's biggest lead reached nine on a breakaway layup by Roll.
TEMPE -- Before the college basketball season began, reporters picked UCLA to finish third in the Pacific 10 Conference standings.

Well, the Bruins sit four spots back at No. 7 in the conference with an 8-9 record. UCLA plays its final regular season game today against the second-place Arizona State Sun Devils with no shot at finishing in third.

Seeding for next week's conference tournament at Staples Center is still undecided.

Here are the two scenarios:
  • If UCLA loses and Oregon State defeats Washington later tonight, the Bruins will be the sixth seed and face the Huskies on Thursday night.
  • If UCLA wins, it nabs the fifth seed and faces the fourth seed in the early-afternoon. The fourth seed could be Washington (if it loses in Corvallis, Ore.) or Arizona (if the Huskies beat the Beavers).

UCLA-Arizona: Sights and sounds

March, 4, 2010
TUCSON -- If UCLA intended on building momentum heading into next weekend's Pacific 10 Conference tournament, it was in a position to do so.

But the Bruins were unable to hold off a furious Arizona comeback, spoiling a 14-point lead before falling 78-73 in front of a raucous crowd of 14,407 at McKale Center.

Relive the collapse here with our running diary (all times are local).
  • 7:40 -- It's hard not to notice Reeves Nelson sitting courtside as his teammates warm up before tip-off. He was slated to return to the lineup tonight after missing UCLA's two games against the Oregon schools last weekend while recovering from left eye surgery. Nelson looks as sad as a player can look -- slouched forward, right hand on his cheek -- while the other Bruins players shoot from the perimeter.
  • 8:04 -- Arizona's Jamelle Horne walked over to Nelson, said something and then shook his head as he walked away. Nelson, whose badly bruised right eye is clearly visible from anywhere in the arena, stared back and shrugged, almost as if to say, "I know."
  • 8:24 -- Less than seven minutes until tip-off and the place is noticeably emptier than it was when the two teams met here on Valentine's Day last year.
  • 8:33 -- Dear pregame introduction sound coordinator, a little more bass, please? Laptops on press row are rattling as Arizona is introduced to in a pregame routine that seems perfectly suited for an NBA game.
  • 8:36 -- Freshman Brendan Lane gets the start with Malcolm Lee, Michael Roll, Tyler Honeycutt and Nikola Dragovic. Honeycutt wins the jump ball and we're under way... and there's an immediate offensive foul on Roll. Bad start for the Bruins.
  • 8:39 -- Lee has UCLA's first two buckets -- both from short range. Might be a sign of good things to come for coach Ben Howland's squad.
  • 8:42 -- The Bruins have four baskets, all coming within four feet of the hoop.
  • 8:44 -- Arizona's Derrick Williams follows a nasty, one-handed block on Lane with a monster dunk on the other end to bring the entire arena to its feet. We head to the first media timeout with UCLA up 14-7. Good offensive action early for the Bruins, who aren't settling for long-range jumpers.
  • 8:51 -- This is my default kiss cam entry. Arizona fan, perhaps in his mid-50s, kisses what first appears to be his wife. Then proceeds to kiss three more women in nearby seats. That must have been planned, right? Back to the game...
  • 8:55 -- Guard Mike Moser, a former Arizona pledge who decommitted after coach Lute Olson resigned, checks into the game.
  • 8:57 -- Moser is called for a blocking foul on Williams, which Howland can't believe. Moser heads back to the bench.
  • 9:04 -- Just noticed sophomore center J'mison Morgan, who was suspended Wednesday for violating an unspecified team rule, is not sitting with the team.
  • 9:09 -- Roll sinks a 3-pointer from the right wing, prompting Arizona coach Sean Miller to call a timeout. Roll pumps his fist and lets out an uncharacteristic yell. Dragovic, not far behind from Roll, lets out a roar too. UCLA leads 28-20.
  • 9:27 -- UCLA leads 39-29 at the half after strong defense. Roll and Lee have 11 points each.
  • 9:34 -- This is my default wiener dog race update. Yes, the crowd was treated to a wiener dog race at center court during halftime. Arizona fans were into it, especially after the half the Wildcats had.
  • 9:52 -- Williams picks up his fourth foul, which is HUGE. He is having his way with Lane on both ends. Wise, Horne and Kyle Fogg must step up for Wildcats.
  • 9:58 -- Wise nails a 3-pointer to trim UCLA's lead to nine. "U of A! U of A!" chants begin... Miller has brought Williams back onto the floor with four fouls. Risky move.
  • 10:03 -- Howland calls a full timeout after Jerime Anderson airballs a 3-point attempt. Wildcats within eight with a bit over 12 minutes remaining in this one. Student waving "Bruise the Bruins" sign going crazy next to the mascot, Wilbur the Wildcat.
  • 10:07 -- A team spokesman ran over to the reporters' table to say Lee was cramping. The sophomore guard has had trouble with hydration this season. Where are the electrolytes? Insert Moser.
  • 10:11 -- Fogg has drained three shots from beyond the arc to make this a game. UCLA's lead down to five, Howland calls timeout. Lee holding Gatorade bottle as he waits to check back in.
  • 10:18 -- Arizona guard Lamont Jones sinks two free throws to tie it at 58 with more than seven minutes left. Exciting game between two 8-8 teams.
  • 10:23 -- The officials have gone to the monitors for the third time. The student section begins chant directed at the referees after UCLA is awarded the basketball. We'll leave it at that.
  • 10:30 -- Fogg gives Arizona its first lead of the night with two free throws. Dragovic misses gimme layup. Wise nails open 3-pointer on the other end. Howland calls timeout. The sequence pretty much sums up the Bruins' season.
  • 10:37 -- Honeycutt tips in a Lee miss to pull UCLA within two with 57 seconds left. Howland calls his final timeout immediately. Mustafa Abdul-Hamid on the floor after Lane fouls out.
  • 10:39 -- Wise finds Jones for an easy bucket inside, but Dragovic respns with a bank shot.
  • 10:40 -- Dragovic is called for an intentional foul on Williams. "We're not at a concert," yells a fan sitting behind press row. Williams nails both at the line to give Wildcats a four-point lead with 12.3 remaining. Wise sinks two more free throws for Arizona.
  • 10:42 -- Dragovic hits a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to three, but it might be too late. Dragovic was 6-for-18 on the night. Wise sinks two more free throws to seal the game.




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