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UCLA-Cincinnati Preview
By: UCLA Athletics

March 16, 2002

GAME: No. 8 UCLA (20-11) vs. No. 1 Cincinnati (31-3).

REGIONAL: West, Second Round.

TIME: Sunday, 12:10 p.m. EST.

SITE: Mellon Arena, Pittsburgh.

Cincinnati had little trouble getting coach Bob Huggins his 500th career win in its NCAA tournament opener. The Bearcats know victory No. 501 will be considerably tougher to achieve.

Steve Logan leads the top-seeded Bearcats against dangerous UCLA in the second round of the West Regional.

Cincinnati pounded 16th-seeded Boston University, the America East Conference champion, 90-52 on Friday night. Logan scored 23 of his 27 points in the first half as the Bearcats opened a 43-16 lead after the first 20 minutes.

With the Bearcats leading 23-8, Logan hit seven consecutive shots, including four 3-pointers. He finished 10-for-15 from the field and added eight assists to help Huggins improve to 500-171.

"I didn't know if I would last this long," said Huggins, who also coached at Walsh College and Akron. "You didn't see how bad some of those teams at Walsh were."

Huggins will have the benefit of a rested - and mentally prepared - Logan as he tries to guide his team into the round of 16. The senior guard, who departed with 7:27 remaining in the second half, knows what the Bearcats are up against when they face the Bruins.

"I think they're the most talented team we've faced all year," he said.

Logan and Cincinnati will need to turn up their characteristic defensive intensity against UCLA, which is coming off an 80-53 rout of Mississippi on Friday night.

Billy Knight made three straight 3-pointers to open the second half and finished with a game-high 21 points as the Bruins quickly pushed a 10-point lead to a 19-point advantage.

"They talk about teams that are hot coming in," Knight said. "But that doesn't mean anything. It's what you do when you get here."

The deep and versatile Bruins won despite getting only two points from forward Jason Kapono - 14 below his average. Freshman reserve Dijon Thompson had 16 points as UCLA's bench outscored the Bruins' first unit 42-38.

"We went with our hockey substitution there for a while," Bruins coach Steve Lavin said. "Our young kids played with a lot of energy."

UCLA will try to duplicate its outstanding defensive effort from Friday when it faces Cincinnati. The Bruins, who used their zone defense to hold Ole Miss to 34 percent from the field and 29 percent from 3-point range, take on a Bearcats squad that shot 53 percent against Boston University.

UCLA and Cincinnati have met once before in the NCAA tournament, when the Bearcats won 72-70 in the 1962 national semifinals and went on to win the national championship.

PROBABLE STARTERS: UCLA - F Matt Barnes (13.1 ppg, 6.0 rpg), F Kapono (16.2 ppg, 5.2 rpg), C Dan Gadzuric (11.3 ppg, 7.5 rpg), G Knight (14.1 ppg, 3.4 rpg), G Cedric Bozeman (3.6 ppg, 3.6 apg). Cincinnati - F Jamaal Davis (7.3 ppg, 5.1 rpg), F Immanuel McElroy (9.4 ppg, 5.1 rpg), C Donald Little (7.1 ppg, 6.7 rpg), G Logan (22.1 ppg, 5.3 apg), G Leonard Stokes (11.9 ppg, 4.6 rpg).

HOW THEY GOT HERE: UCLA - At-large bid, Pac-10 conference, defeated No. 9 Mississippi 80-58, first round. Cincinnati - Automatic bid, Conference USA champion, defeated No. 16 Boston University 90-52, first round.

ALL-TIME TOURNAMENT RECORD: UCLA - 84-30, 38 years. Cincinnati - 38-19, 20 years.

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