March 17, 2000
GAME: No. 6 UCLA (20-11) vs. No. 3 Maryland (25-9), Midwest Regional, Second
TIME: Saturday, 7:55 p.m. EST.
SITE: Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, Minneapolis.
Getting out the first round of the NCAA tournament has been a nightmare for UCLA during the past decade. Maryland's Terrence Morris could cause a recurrence of that nightmare in the second round.
The sixth-seeded Bruins face the third-seeded Terrapins in Saturday's Midwest Regional game.
UCLA was knocked out in its opening game of the tournament four times in the 1990s, and is thankful to survive the first round this season after getting upset by Detroit last season.
Jason Kapono, the Pac-10 co-freshman of the year, scored all of his 17 points in the second half and teammate Earl Watson finished with 11 assists as UCLA beat No. 11 Ball State 65-57 on Thursday night.
Maryland has three starters averaging over 15.0 points per game and is in the second round thanks largely to the play of the 6-foot-9 Morris.
The junior forward had 22 points and 12 rebounds to lead Maryland past No. 14 Iona 74-59 on Thursday night. He had 14 points and 10 rebounds by halftime.
"My team just fed off me in the first half," Morris said. "I just wanted to set an example for the guys."
The Terrapins, who lost four starters from last season's 28-6 team, including star point guard Steve Francis to the NBA, got even younger during Thursday's game, when sophomore small forward Danny Miller sat out with a sprained left ankle.
Miller was hurt in the championship game of the ACC tournament, forcing coach Gary Williams to rely heavily on freshmen Tahj Holden in big lineups and Drew Nicholas in three-guard sets.
The Bruins lead the all-time series with the Terrapins 4-2. Maryland won the last meeting between the teams 70-54 last season behind Morris' 22 points and 11 rebounds.
The winner of Saturday's game goes on to face either seventh-seeded Auburn or second-seeded Iowa State in the regional semifinals.
PROBABLE STARTERS: UCLA - F Kapono (16.4 ppg, 4.5 rpg), F Rush (12.5 ppg, 5.3 rpg), C Moiso (12.9 ppg, 7.5 rpg), G Watson (11.6 ppg, 5.4 apg), G Ryan Bailey (3.2 ppg, 2.5 apg). Maryland - F Morris (15.7 ppg, 8.7 rpg), F Miller (8.9 ppg, 2.9 rpg), C Lonny Baxter (15.2 ppg, 8.7 rpg), G Juan Dixon (18.0 ppg, 3.5 apg), G Steve Blake (7.1 ppg, 6.4 apg).
HOW THEY GOT HERE: UCLA - At-large bid, Pac-10 Conference, beat Ball State 65-57, first round. Maryland - At-large bid, Atlantic Coast Conference, beat Iona 74-59, first round.
ALL-TIME TOURNAMENT RECORD: UCLA - 80-28, 35 years. Maryland - 22-16, 16 years.