I never thought ucla would go down like this again. I really thought that they could take the Gators and exact some revenge for last year's beat down in the final. They were healthy and they were having a great run and the win over Kansas really showed me they could play at any tempo but not tonight. Now I picked them to win as I thought they would want to kick some ass and take some names from last year's game but I couldn't be happier with the result. They are not there yet.
As I said here in the game thread.
But...that's not how it went down.
I can hear it already, the refs were paid and they gave the game to Florida. Noah took a lot of cheap shots or got away with some obvious fouls. CBS wanted to see another Florida/Ohio State final. Conspiracy abounds! Dogs and cats sleeping together! The end is near!!
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Blah. Blah. Blah.
Funny how I said the same thing about the officiating in the USC/UNC game, but I saw a comment elsewhere that basically said that was typical from "someone who has only watched 3 basketball games in his life." Not true, I've watched plenty of basketball games I'm just not an expert as some. Anyway, them's the breaks and so we move on.
That wasn't a 10-point loss as the score may have shown, that was an absolute drubbing. Florida started coasting at the end and gave up some cheap points but ucla was never in this game after about 5 minutes into the 2nd half. Once Florida found their groove in the middle of the first half you knew it was going to be tough for the bruins to play catch up. Florida just had too much on the inside and their outside shooting, once they found it, was dialed in pretty good.
The bruins on the other hand didn't have anywhere close to a decent game offensively except for Shipp who more than made up for his absence in last years meeting but it wasn't enough. Afflalo was cold until midway through the 2nd half when he finally got off the schneid and hit a 3-pointer on his way to 17 points but again he was not a factor.
In the early part of the game ucla had their defense working pretty well as it was some time before the Gators got a FG. There were a number of blocked shots in this game from both teams but it was Florida really controlled the boards and got the put-backs down the stretch. Richards really stepped up coming of the bench and made the difference when Horford was out of the game.
A great season for the bruins but as I said in a comment earlier; to some this will be seen as a failure because the standards are so high. No doubt they will be in the hunt and probably make the trip to the Final Four next year but they need to lick their wounds first.
So lets talk about Georgetown/tOSU.
I wont spend a lot of time on it but lets just say a few things about this game.
JT3 was out coached tonight, as they didn't have any remedy for a pretty good Buckeye defense. Green was never in this game and it really hurt the Hoya's ability to score. I'm not sure if it was the coaching or if the Green just didn't assert himself enough to be a factor in this game. Both Hibbert and Oden were in foul trouble early and tOSU has always played a little bit better when Oden wasn't in the game and we saw that here in the first half. But in the 2nd half Oden got into the game and really made his presence known.
Lighty and Conely, to me, were the players of the game as they did it all. Lighty kept close tabs on Green and kept him from being a factor in the game. Conley finished with 15 points, six assists and five rebounds and he was really the best thing going for tOSU in the first half. You could tell JT3 was not happy in his postgame interview and wasn't quite sure what he would tell his team in the locker room later. He looked pretty pissed to me but their luck just ran out.
So, it's Florida and Ohio State in the finals on Monday night. Didn't we just see this match-up like in January? I can't remember, Hmmmmmmmm.