Elite 8-bound: Wildcats beat UCLA

On Friday night, UCLA looked like it was running in place. "That's what this (second) half is going to be, the whole half".

Kentucky: Wildcats won despite not getting much from another freshman, Bam Adebayo.

The only No. 2 seed to survive and advance, the Wildcats (32-5) won their 14th straight game.

UCLA shot the ball pretty well in the first meeting with Kentucky, going 35-for-66 from the field and 10-for-23 from 3-point land.

Kentucky has plenty of firepower to keep up with the Bruins, led by freshmen guards Malik Monk and De'Aaron Fox.

UCLA (31-5) carried that moniker until Friday night.

However, this game didn't follow the script that United Kingdom and UCLA's early-season game followed in December. The eight teams in action are just two victories away from reaching the Final Four in Glendale, Ariz. Ball might well be the NBA's No. 1 draftee come June, but his March exit was a damp squib.

Bryce Alford and Isaac Hamilton are graduating, so right there it seems that the Bruins will lose at least four players.

Kentucky will face No. 1 North Carolina in the South Region Championship on Sunday, March 26 at 5:05 pm (Est).

"We knew with their bigs, we weren't doing pick-and-rolls, and I mean, I just made shots today".

Ball went on to spew many more insane mutterings, and these last six minutes of my life make me think I need to take a nap, dream about the reality of basketball, be brought back into this ballin' other-world universe, and see if I can actually understand anything that LaVar is yelling about.

United Kingdom freshman guard Malik Monk was also fantastic, scoring 21 points. He led the nation in assists and averaged almost 15 points per game, shooting 42 percent from 3-point land, and also stuffing the box score in various other categories. Whle there were 13 lead changes and three ties, the combined 69 points did not amount to what many predicted. Kentucky committed just six turnovers, of which the Bruins could only convert into two points. Kentucky avenged a December loss to UCLA and moves on to the Elite Eight where North Carolina waits.

Fox finished with 20 points — though he needed 20 shots to get there — and nine assists with two turnovers in 34 minutes.

"I love this team (and) the character of this team has been phenomenal", Alford said. If this was the only game you watched for the entire season you'd wholeheartedly believe that De'Aaron Fox was the nation's best point guard.

LaVar is back at it again, and this time, through First Take on ESPN. "I feel like we played sort of similar, and he's a good player". He was 4-of-10 from the field and 1-of-6 from 3-point range.

They gave up a pocket of points to freshman forward T. J. Leaf in the first half but made him disappear in the second half when he scored only four of his 17 points. The Bruins are now 31-4 on the season and 17-18 against the spread.

"Well, he killed us on the backboard, too", Calipari said. They can make fun of other programs that hang Final Four banners but the reality is the Bruins haven't had much to hang to begin with.

Prior to his team's game against the Wildcats, Bruins coach Steve Alford offered praise for Fox, Monk and Adebayo, all three of whom are projected to be National Basketball Association lottery picks this summer.

  • Julie Sanders