UCLA: Carlos Samoano

COLLEGE: Final-four rundown

December, 9, 2011
12/09/11
10:25
AM PT

The NCAA College Cup kicks off Friday afternoon in Hoover, Ala., with No. 2 Creighton taking on surprise semifinalist Creighton in the 3 p.m. PST opener. No. 4 UCLA meets No. 3 North Carolina in the second game, at 5:30 p.m.

The title game is Sunday at 1 p.m. All three games will be shown live on ESPNU.

Here's a quick rundown on the final four:

  • UCLA (18-4-1)

The Bruins lost in the quarterfinals the past two years, but a shift to a pure possession attack -- with style as or more important than results -- has taken UCLA to a different level. Junior forward Chandler Hoffman gets to finish a spectacular campaign, in which he's netted 18 goals to head a dynamic attack, at home: He's from Birmingham.

Pacific 12 MVP Kelyn Rowe adds attacking dimensions off the bench and Englishman Andy Rose provides a midfield foundation around which the Bruins revolve. And they might be at their strongest at the back, where goalkeeper Brian Rowe has posted eight straight shutouts -- keeping his sheet clean for 747 minutes, 40 seconds.

  • NORTH CAROLINA (20-2-2)

The Tar Heels reached the title game three years ago and lost in the semifinals the past two years, and now first-year coach Carlos Samoano -- promoted when Elmar Bolowich moved to Creighton -- looks to take them to a second title 11 years after the first. They bring in a nine-game winning streak, with six of the victories, including the last two, by shutout.

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2014 TEAM LEADERS

PASSINGATTCOMPYDSTD
B. Hundley204148185613
RUSHINGCARYDSAVGTD
P. Perkins1308136.33
B. Hundley923053.34
RECEIVINGRECYDSAVGTD
J. Payton4259914.35
D. Fuller312568.31
TEAMRUSHPASSTOTAL
Offense200.6291.9492.4
TEAMPFPAMARGIN
Scoring35.129.35.9