LOS ANGELES – No. 4-seed UCLA (28-8) will play No. 1-seed Florida (34-2) in the Sweet 16 on Thursday evening in Memphis, Tenn. The Bruins, who defeated Tulsa and Stephen F. Austin in San Diego last weekend, look to snap Florida’s 28-game winning streak at FedExForum on Thursday. Game time is 6:45 p.m. (PT)/8:45 p.m. (CT). UCLA’s game versus Florida will be televised live by CBS. The Bruins have won their last five games and seven of their eight games in the month of March.
THURSDAY’S GAME IN MEMPHIS
Venue: FedExForum (18,119)
Game Time: 6:45 p.m. (PT) / 8:45 p.m. (CT)
TV Station: CBS
TV Talents: Kevin Harlan, Len Elmore, Reggie Miller, Rachel Nichols (sideline)
Radio: AM 1150 (KEIB)
Radio Talent: Chris Roberts (play-by-play), Tracy Murray (analyst)
UCLA has advanced to the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 in 18 seasons since the tournament field incorporated 32 teams in 1974-75. The Bruins last reached the Sweet 16 in 2008, a season in which UCLA advanced to its third consecutive Final Four. UCLA has gone 0-3 in the all-time series against Florida, having lost to the Gators in NCAA Tournament action in 2006 (national title game), 2007 (national semifinal) and 2011 (round of 32).
The Bruins advanced to the Sweet 16 (also known as the regional semifinal) with a second-round win over Tulsa (76-59, on March 21) and a third-round victory against Stephen F. Austin (77-60, on March 23) in San Diego. Jordan Adams scored a game-leading 21 points against Tulsa last Friday night before adding a team-best 19 points in Sunday’s 77-60 win against Stephen F. Austin, which saw its 29-game winning streak snapped.
Over the last 20 seasons, UCLA has made 10 trips to the Sweet 16. Most recently, the Bruins cruised past the Sweet 16 and into the Final Four in 2006, 2007 and 2008. This season, the Pac-12 Conference has advanced three of its teams (UCLA, Arizona and Stanford) to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2008.
ABOUT THE BRUINS
UCLA is making its 46th appearance in the NCAA Tournament, having earned its highest tournament seed (No. 4) since entering the 2008 field as the No. 1 seed in the West Region ... the Bruins are one of six Pac-12 Conference programs who made this season’s 68-team field (joining Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, Oregon and Stanford).
In his first year as UCLA’s head coach (and 23rd overall), Steve Alford has guided the Bruins to a 28-8 record. Alford has tied UCLA’s single-season wins record (28) for any Bruins’ coach in his first season at the helm (Gene Bartow led the Bruins to a 28-4 record in 1975-76, the season after John Wooden retired).
The Bruins secured the Pac-12 Conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament by winning its fourth Pac-12 Tournament title in the 17-year history of the tournament ... UCLA defeated Arizona, 75-71, in the title game ... Jordan Adams nailed a tie-breaking three-pointer to give UCLA a 71-68 cushion with 45 seconds to play.
UCLA’s total of 28 wins this season is the highest single-season total at UCLA since 2007-08, when the Bruins compiled a 35-4 overall mark ... the Bruins will enter Thursday’s game against Florida having won their last five games and seven of their last eight contests ... Florida has won its last 28 games.
The Bruins have won at least 20 games in 48 seasons, including 31 times in the last 39 years (since John Wooden retired in 1975) ... UCLA has won at least 25 games in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 2007-08.
Kyle Anderson has averaged closer to a triple-double than any other player in the nation ... the Bruins’ sophomore 6-foot-9 point guard enters the regional semifinal averaging 14.7 points per game, leading the team in rebounds per game (8.7) and the conference in assists per game (6.5) ... he has registered a Pac-12-best 16 double-doubles.
Under Steve Alford’s direction, UCLA has averaged its highest offensive output (81.5 ppg) since the Bruins averaged 83.1 points per game in 1997-98 ... in his 23rd season as a college head coach, Alford has guided his teams to at least 28 wins in each of the last three seasons (includes his final two seasons as New Mexico’s head coach).
Jordan Adams leads UCLA in scoring (17.4 ppg) and ranks seventh in that category in the Pac-12 ... Adams scored a career-high 31 points at Washington (March 6) to pass the 1,000 career point mark ... he also leads all Pac-12 players with 93 steals, the UCLA single-season record (surpassing Cameron Dollar’s 82 steals in 1997).
UCLA’s roster features seven players who have scored at least 20 points in one career game, with six of those seven having registered at least 20 points in a game this season ... Jordan Adams leads the Bruins with 13 games of 20 points or more and has scored in double figures in 30 of 35 games played.
Jordan Adams (17.4 pgg, 5.4 rpg) and Kyle Anderson (14.7 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 6.5 apg) earned first-team All-Pac-12 honors, marking the second consecutive year in which two UCLA players secured first-team acclaim (last season, Larry Drew II and Shabazz Muhammad). In addition, Bryce Alford (8.1 ppg, 2.8 apg) and Zach LaVine (9.6 ppg, 2.6 rpg) were among five players named to the conference’s All-Freshman Team.
Kyle Anderson secured Most Outstanding Player accolades at the Pac-12 Tournament (March 12-15), having averaged 15.0 points, 10.3 rebounds and 6.0 assists in three games. Anderson registered his conference-leading 16th double-double (21 points, 15 rebounds) in the championship win against Arizona.
Steve Alford has become the 12th head coach in college basketball history to have led at least four NCAA Division I programs to the NCAA Tournament (Missouri State, Iowa, New Mexico and UCLA). He is just one of five head coaches in that group to have won at least one NCAA Tournament game at four schools. The other four coaches to have won at least one NCAA Tournament game at four schools are Jim Harrick, Lon Kruger, Tubby Smith and Eddie Sutton.
THE KYLE ANDERSON FILE
No player in the nation has averaged as close to a triple-double as has Kyle Anderson (14.7 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 6.5 apg). The chart below analyzes the country’s other players who are averaging close to a triple-double. Through games played March 23, Anderson was the only player in the country averaging at least 10.0 ppg, 8.0 rpg and 6.0 apg. He is the only player to rank in the top five in rebounds, assists and steals and be among the top 15 scorers not only in the Pac-12 Conference, but in any of the BCS conferences (AAC, ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC).
Anderson has been named as one of15 finalists for the John R. Wooden Award and for the Oscar Robertson National Player of the Year Trophy. Two weeks ago, he was listed as one of six finalists for this season’s Bob Cousy Award, presented by the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame to the nation’s premier point guard.
Anderson has become the first college player (NCAA Division I) to have logged at least 500 points, 300 rebounds and 200 assists since at least 1996-97. He’s the only Pac-12 player who has tallied at least 200 rebounds and 200 assists in the same season. Anderson has registered 516 points, 306 rebounds and 228 assists.
Wanaah Bail did not play last weekend (left knee) after having surgery to remove torn cartilage on Tuesday, March 18. Bail missed UCLA’s first five games recovering from left knee surgery (to repair torn cartilage) which was performed on June 28, 2013. Noah Allen missed 12 games after suffering multiple fractures to his face in a collision sustained with a player from Oakland (Nov. 12) in the game’s final minutes. Travis Wear missed UCLA’s first three games after having underwent an appendectomy on Oct. 28, 2013.