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UCLA Hopes It Won't Need Another Miracle Against Missouri

March 20, 2002

AP Sports Writer

LOS ANGELES - Seven years after Tyus Edney's length-of-the-court drive and layup beat the buzzer and Missouri, UCLA hopes it won't take another miracle shot to get past the Tigers.

The Bruins won that second-round game 75-74, and eventually earned their 11th national championship and only one since John Wooden retired in 1975.

Edney dribbled the length of the court in 4.8 seconds and got off his game-winner over 6-foot-9 Derek Grimm and 6-1 Jason Sutherland, stunning the Tigers and triggering a joyous midcourt celebration.

"We were all grateful that Tyus made the shot and that we were able to extend our season and play another week," said coach Steve Lavin, then an assistant under Jim Harrick who took over when Harrick was fired 20 months later.

"Coach Harrick and the staff were under the usual great pressure to continue to win games and try and bring home a championship banner," Lavin recalled Tuesday.

Not much has changed since 1995. Lavin and his staff were under fire most of this season for the Bruins' roller-coaster performances.

For the impressive victories over then-No. 1 Kansas and at Stanford, there were several clunkers, including an early season loss to Ball State in Hawaii, a 29-point blowout by Oregon and a first-round exit in the Pac-10 Conference tournament.

"The lows are lower and the highs are higher at UCLA," said Lavin, who along with Duke's Mike Krzyzewski are the only coaches in the nation to reach the final 16 five times in the last six years.

"So everyone is surprised when we have breakthroughs, but as a coach you see the progress day-to-day."

In 1995, the Bruins were a No. 1 seed. They had lost to Tulsa in the first round the previous year, and would lose to Princeton in the first round of the 1996 NCAA tournament.

In between came the greatest play Lavin said he's ever seen.

"It was kind of a storybook finish," he said. "I remember 15 or 20 minutes later in the locker room, the team was just so excited."

UCLA freshman Cedric Bozeman was 12 when he saw Edney's heroics while watching the game at his grandmother's house.

"That was a big giant-killer," Bozeman said. "Hopefully, we can squeak by and get a clean victory."

When eighth-seeded UCLA (21-11) plays 12th-seeded Missouri (23-11) in a West Regional semifinal Thursday night in San Jose, it'll be a pairing of two similar programs.

The Tigers are coached by 35-year-old Quin Snyder. They underachieved most of the season, dropping from a No. 2 ranking after a 9-0 start to unranked before the Big 12 Conference tournament.

They defeated fifth-seeded Miami and No. 4 Ohio State convincingly in the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament.

Coached by the 37-year-old Lavin, the Bruins were a top-10 team to start the season, then lost to Ball State and Pepperdine before beating UC Riverside, UC Irvine (by one point) and Columbia despite indifferent efforts.

The Bruins beat Mississippi 80-58 and then surprised No. 1 Cincinnati 105-101 in double overtime to reach the final 16 for the third consecutive year.

"We put ourselves in a position to be criticized with our poor performances, but now we're winning, it's in one ear and out the other," said senior forward Matt Barnes, who has a "Never Satisified" tattoo on his forearm. "Our mission is to win it all."

Fifth-year UCLA seniors Rico Hines and Billy Knight are in their fourth final 16, but have never advanced to a Final Four. Their previous three regional appearances ended in semifinal losses to Kentucky, Iowa State and Duke.

"Our real goal is the Final Four and it's two games away," Knight said.

Hines won't play in San Jose after injuring his left knee against Cincinnati. There's a chance he could play if the Bruins advance to next week's Final Four in Atlanta.

"I feel we have as much talent as they do," he said. "I expect us to go out and beat Missouri."

UCLA Health Sponsor - Event Information
Friday, Oct 30
vs. Cal State Los ...
Los Angeles, CA
W, 95 - 57
Friday, Nov 13
vs. Monmouth
Los Angeles, CA
L, 81 - 84 (OT)
Sunday, Nov 15
vs. Cal Poly
Los Angeles, CA
W, 88 - 83
Thursday, Nov 19
vs. Pepperdine
Los Angeles, CA
W, 81 - 67
Monday, Nov 23
vs. UNLV
Lahaina, HI
W, 77 - 75
Tuesday, Nov 24
vs. Kansas
Lahaina, HI
L, 73 - 92
Wednesday, Nov 25
vs. Wake Forest
Lahaina, HI
L, 77 - 80
Sunday, Nov 29
vs. CSUN
Los Angeles, CA
W, 77 - 45
Thursday, Dec 03 - 6:00 PM PST
vs. Kentucky
Los Angeles, CA
Sunday, Dec 06 - 6:00 PM PST
vs. Long Beach State
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, Dec 12 - 7:00 PM PST
at Gonzaga
Spokane, WA
Tuesday, Dec 15 - 6:00 PM PST
vs. Louisiana-Lafayette
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, Dec 19 - 10:00 AM PST
vs. North Carolina
Brooklyn, NY
Tuesday, Dec 22 - 8:00 PM PST
vs. McNeese State
Los Angeles, CA
Friday, Jan 01 - 8:00 PM PST
at Washington
Seattle, WA
Sunday, Jan 03 - 6:30 PM PST
at Washington State
Pullman, WA
Thursday, Jan 07 - 6:00 PM PST
vs. Arizona
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, Jan 09 - 2:00 PM PST
vs. Arizona State
Los Angeles, CA
Wednesday, Jan 13 - 8:00 PM PST
vs. USC
Los Angeles, CA
Wednesday, Jan 20 - 8:00 PM PST
at Oregon State
Corvallis, OR
Saturday, Jan 23 - 1:00 PM PST
at Oregon
Eugene, OR
Thursday, Jan 28 - 7:00 PM PST
vs. Washington
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, Jan 30 - 4:00 PM PST
vs. Washington State
Los Angeles, CA
Thursday, Feb 04 - 7:30 PM PST
at USC
Los Angeles, CA
Friday, Feb 12 - 6:00 PM PST
at Arizona
Tucson, AZ
Sunday, Feb 14 - 5:30 PM PST
at Arizona State
Tempe, AZ
Thursday, Feb 18 - 7:00 PM PST
vs. Utah
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, Feb 20 - 8:00 PM PST
vs. Colorado
Los Angeles, CA
Thursday, Feb 25 - 6:00 PM PST
at California
Berkeley, CA
Saturday, Feb 27 - 1:30 PM PST
at Stanford
Stanford, CA