Almost 13 hours to go. I am going to start this game day post pretty much the same way I have been starting the whole season - by going to Brian Dohn. Dohn as usual has a great game day report up. Here is Dohn on one of rules Coach Howland has instituted to minimize game day distractions - NO TV for the Bruins:
"My freshman year I think we lost a little focus early," said Bozeman, a freshman on UCLA's 2002 Sweet 16 squad. "We had a TV on in the locker room, and we saw Duke go down, and we thought, 'Oh, man, this could be our chance to take it.' "
No. 2 seed UCLA hasn't reached the Elite Eight in nine years, getting blown out by an average of 18 points in their last four Sweet 16 games. Bruins coach Ben Howland has rebuilt his third program, but is looking for his first Elite Eight appearance after dropping Sweet 16 games in 2002 and 2003 while at Pittsburgh.
And minimizing distractions is a crucial part to a team keeping its focus, and something the Bruins have tried to do entering tonight's Sweet 16 showdown with No. 3 seed Gonzaga at Oakland Arena.
Make no mistake here. This is a bigger game for the Zags than it is for us. CBS's Dennis Dodd agrees with our narrative saying Zags Cinderalla Act is getting a bit stale:
What was once inspirational is now underachieving if Gonzaga doesn't get to the Final Four. At least. It hasn't been to the Sweet 16 in five years. It's been seven years since the miracle run to the Elite Eight in 1999.
[W]hile a loss to second-seeded UCLA wouldn't be a disgrace, it would be a huge setback in Zagland.
Now that is out of the way. I want this game. I want it bad.
All we have to do is come out play strong, fundamental, inside-the-jersey defense we have been playing this whole season - specially the last few weeks, and everything is going to turn out all right. We are going to be all right because we have karma on our side. We have had it on our side the whole season:
Again good luck to all of you trying to get something done at work the whole day. Here are more gameday stories courtesy of BBR. One thing you can do is post in this thread where all of you (especially those who are not lucky enough to be in Oakland) are watching the game today? If you are living out in the East Coast or Midwest or Southwest or Northwest - wherever - tell us where are you going to be watching the games with the local alumni clubs or with friends. Like I said above this is going to be our party. Let's GO. GO BRUINS.