PAC-12 TOURNAMENT QUARTERFINALS
UCLA 82, OREGON 63
Jordan Adams (UCLA), 15 points
Joseph Young (Oregon), 29 points
Like the Los Angeles Times said in its recap of this game, “The good UCLA basketball team showed up Thursday night.”
It was certainly nice to see Steve Alford’s Bruins show some resilience and pride in their Pac-12 Tournament semifinal game against an Oregon Duck team that had beaten them in Pauley Pavilion a few weeks before.
Keep in mind, however, that those Bruins lost that February 27 game in double overtime without their two best players, as Anderson and Adams sat out due to breaking team rules.
Those two guys were more than present and accounted for at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV, combining for 26 points and 13 rebounds – Anderson led everyone with eight – and having as good effect on their teammates as UCLA buried Oregon with a 14-2 run to begin the second half, and never looked back.
They shot 57% in the win, holding the Ducks to 44%, and outrebounded them 34-29.
What does all of this mean, above all else?
“We get another chance to prove ourselves in the second game,” Anderson stated afterwards.
Which won’t be easy as the Bruins will face another team that beat them the last time they saw them: the Stanford Cardinal, who outsted Arizona State in another quarterfinal and beat UCLA in Palo Alto on February 22, using Josh Huestis’ size advantage in their 83-74 win.
While it was good to see these Bruins get back on their horse and play good basketball after their humilation against Washington State to close the regular season, fans need to know that like so many times before, this team can easily tank and get knocked out by Stanford.
The big question now is, can UCLA maintain their good play and defeat a team that they should have defeated last month?
Can they redeem themselves a second time and get to the tournament finals?
Can they force me to take back the statement I had made about being done with them (at least for this year)?