No. 2 Seed UCLA Faces Belmont on Thursday in NCAA First Round at Approx. 3:15PM
March 12, 2006
UCLA'S NEXT GAME/2006 NCAA TOURNAMENT THURSDAY, MARCH 16 - No. 7 UCLA (27-6, 14-4, No. 2 Seed in Oakland Regional) vs. No. 15 seed Belmont Bruins (20-10, 15-5, Atlantic Sun Conference Champions) in San Diego, CA (Cox Arena) (TVCBS/ Radio- 570 AM, with Chris Roberts and Don MacLean).
No. 2 SEED UCLA BRUINS (T-No. 7 AP, No. 8 ESPN/USA Today) TENTATIVE STARTING
LINEUP (Overall 27-6/Pac-10 14-4, regular season
*first regular season Pac-10 Championship since 1997/first Pac-10 Tournament title since 1987/No. 2 NCAA seed (highest since 1997, No. 2 Midwest)/33 games ties school record for most games in a season.
The Bruin women also won their Pac-10 Tournament Championship, only the second time in Pac-10 Tournament history the same men/women's programs won the Tournament title (Stanford, 2004).
**NCAA Tournament teams.
Bruins vs. Bruins - this will be UCLA's first meeting vs. the Belmont Bruins, the 2006 Atlantic Sun Champion (20-10/15-5).
UCLA IN THE NCAA
This is UCLA's second appearance in the NCAA Tournament under Ben Howland.
The No. 2 seed is UCLA's highest since 1997, when the Bruins were No. 2 in the Midwest. That year, UCLA advanced to the Elite Eight, defeating Charleston Southern and Xavier in Auburn Hills and Iowa State in San Antonio before losing to Minnesota.
Overall, this is UCLA's 40th appearance in the NCAA Tournament. UCLA holds the record for most championships won (11 in 1964-65-67-68-69-70-71-72- 73-75-95) and longest winning streak - 38 games between 1964 and 1974.
In addition, UCLA ranks third in NCAA Tournament games won (85, Kentucky is No. 1 and North Carolina is No. 2) and second in tournament winning percentage (.726, Duke is No. 1).
UCLA HEAD COACH Ben Howland - In his third season at UCLA and 12th year as a collegiate head coach (in his 25th season of college basketball, as an assistant and head coach).
In the last two years, UCLA is 45-17 (.726) under Howland's direction.
2005-06 - UCLA (27-6, 33 games/.818)
A prime candidate for National Coach of the Year honors, on March 6 was named the Pac-10 and USBWA Dist. IX Coach of the Year and on March 1, he was named a finalist for the Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year award. Has also been honored by CollegeInsider.com, CBS SportsLine.com and SI. com as the Pac-10 Coach of the Year.
It's Howland's third conference Coach of the Year honor overall (2002-Big East Coach of the Year/at Pittsburgh and 1997- Big Sky Coach of the Year/at Northern Arizona). It's only the fifth time a UCLA coach has won Pac-10 Coach of the Year honors since the award was first handed out in 1976 (Steve Lavin (2001), Jim Harrick (1995), Walt Hazzard (1987) and Gary Cunningham (1978).
Howland recorded his 50th Bruin win against Oregon State and is now 56-34 (.622), including 45-17 (.726) in the last two years as the Bruins' head coach. The USC game on Feb. 19 was his 350th game as a collegiate head coach.
He has led UCLA this season to three Pac-10 road sweeps (at the Oregon schools, first time since 2000-01, at the Arizona schools, first time since 1996-97, at the Bay Area schools, first time since 2000) - not since 1994-95 have the Bruins had three Pac-10 road sweeps (at the Arizona, Washington and Bay Area schools/1995 was the last year UCLA won the NCAA Championship). This season the Bruins have swept (home/away) the Oregon schools (first time since 2001) and the Arizona schools (first time since 1997).
He recorded his 200th career victory on Nov. 19, when UCLA defeated Delaware State 56-37 in Pauley Pavilion. In Howland's second year (2004-05) at UCLA, he joined an elite list of college coaches (28) who have led three different teams to the NCAA Tournament (Howland's overall NCAA record is 4-4) - 2005 UCLA, 2003 Pittsburgh ("Sweet 16), 2002 Pittsburgh ("Sweet 16") and 1998 Northern Arizona. In 2005, Howland led the Bruins back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2002; he directed the Bruins to a win over nationally-ranked Washington; led UCLA to a thirdplace tie in the Pac-10 and to a Pac-10 Tournament appearance. In Howland's first year (2003-04) at UCLA, highlights included a 9-3 start (5-0 in the Pac-10), wins over NCAA Tournament teams Michigan State, Washington (twice) and Vermont and an appearance in the Pac-10 Tournament.
In his last two seasons (2002-03) at Pittsburgh - in 2003, he led the Panthers to a 28-5 overall record, No. 4 national ranking, NCAA "Sweet 16" and the Big East Tournament Championship and in 2002, Pittsburgh was 29-6 overall (school record for wins), advanced to the NCAA "Sweet 16" and the Big East Tournament title game and Howland was the consensus National Coach of the Year.
HONORS- Here's a list of the Bruin preseason team and individual player honors. On March 6, Jordan Farmar and Arron Afflalo were named first-team All-Pac-10 selections (UCLA) leads the conference with 104 first-team selections.
Jordan Farmar - A member of the All Pac-10 Tournament team, on March 10, named a CollegeInsider.com All-American. On March 7, was named first-team USBWA All. Dist. IX, on March 6, he earned first-team All-Pac-10 and was named to the Wooden Award finalist list (22 players) and on March 1, was named the Pac-10 Most Valuable Player by CollegeInsider.com. On Feb. 18, Farmar was named first-team NABC All-Dist. 15. He was on the mid-season Naismith Trophy (30 players) and Wooden Award (30 players) lists. He is also a finalist for the Bob Cousy Award (nation's top point guard). Farmar is one of just four players, he's the only underclassman, mentioned for all three honors (joining senior guards, Illinois' Dee Brown, Pittsburgh's Carl Krauser and Syracuse's Gerry McNamara).
Arron Afflalo - A member of the All-Pac-10 Tournament team, on March 7, was named a first-team USBWA All-Dist. IX and CollegeInsider.com Defensive All-American, on March 6 was a first-team All-Pac-10 selection and named Pac-10 Player of the Week (for his play in the Bruins' sweep of the Bay Area), and on Feb. 18, Afflalo was named first-team NABC All-Dist. 15. He was named an early-season All-American by scout.com and named to the NIT Season Tip-Off All-Tournament team.
Farmar and Afflalo - were named the nation's No. 3 backcourt by SI.com (Jan. 25).
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute - on March 7 was named the CBS SportsLine.com and SI.com Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, on March 6 was named the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year (and Honorable Mention All-Pac- 10) and a Freshman All-American by CollegeInsider.com. He was named to Seth Davis' SI.com All-Glue team on Feb. 15 (given to players who emphasize team play over individualism). He was named the Rivals.com National Freshman of the Week (Jan. 30) for his efforts in UCLA's two victories at the Oregon schools.
Darren Collison - on March 6 was named a Pac-10 Honorable Mention All-Freshman selection.
CLick for Bruin Video