Bumped. GO BRUINS. - BN Eds.
Here's a quick look back at UCLA Sweet Sixteen success stories since the 1995 National Championship team.
1997 - (2) UCLA vs. (6) Iowa State
In Lavin's first season coaching Jim Harrick's team, the Bruins faced a tough Iowa State team coached by this guy:
UCLA had a long, athletic, experienced team that featured 4 future NBA players: Charles O'Bannon, Toby Bailey, J.R. Henderson, and Jelani McCoy. The only thing missing was... a coach. The Bruins were outplayed by Iowa State in the first half, and trailed by double digits for much of the game. Here are a few of the highlights.
Charles O'Bannon trims the early Iowa State lead with a three.
A fabulous pass by Toby Bailey sets up Jelani McCoy for the dunk to cut the Iowa State lead to 13.
The Bruins catch Iowa State late in the second half and the game heads to overtime tied at 64. With less than 2 minutes left in overtiime, the Bruins go up by 4 on a J.R. Henderson dunk.
In spite of Steve Lavin's arm waving and jumping up and down on the sidelines, Lavin's Bruins find a way to fall behind with under 10 seconds left in overtime. Cue Cameron Dollar...
This is the only Sweet Sixteen victory of Steve Lavin's coaching career.
Final Score: UCLA 74, Iowa State 73 (OT)
Leading Scorers: Cameron Dollar 20, Charles O'Bannon 16
2006 - (2) UCLA vs. (3) Gonzaga
This was Howland's first UCLA team to make the tournament. The team was young but talented and disciplined. The team included future NBA players Jordan Farmar, Arron Afflalo, Darren Collison, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute , Ryan Hollins and Cedric Bozeman. (Bozeman was not drafted by the NBA but briefly played for the Atlanta Hawks.)
The Bruins trailed by double digits for most of the game, and were down by 8 with about 3 minutes left in the game. Then this happened...
Ben ball warriors were physically and mentally tough. In the closing minutes of the game, Arron Afflalo drives, fights for the rebound off his miss, and scores the basket while getting mugged. And look who ends up on the floor.
Down by 5 with under a minute left, Jordan Farmar scores a clutch basket.
And then the sequences that had UCLA fans celebrating and Gonzaga fans (and Adam Morrison) in tears...
Final Score: UCLA 73, Gonzaga 71
Leading Scorers: Jordan Farmar 15, Arron Afflalo 15
2007 - (2) UCLA vs, (3) Pittsburgh
UCLA's second trip to the Sweet Sixteen with Coach Howland featured a matchup between two defensive teams that were built to grind out victories. The Bruins never trailed in a game that had few highlights. This UCLA team included future NBA players Darren Collison, Arron Afflalo, Russell Westbrook, and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Here are a couple of highlights...
Russell Westbrook tracks back to shut down a potential Pittsburgh break and then finishes at the rim.
Collison splits two defenders and finds Keefe in the paint for the dunk.
Final Score: UCLA 64, Pittsburgh 55
Leading Scorers: Arron Afflalo 17, Josh Shipp 16
2008 - (1) UCLA vs.(12) Western Kentucky
This was Coach Howland's third consecutive Sweet Sixteen team. It featured future NBA stars Kevin Love and Russell Westbrook as well as NBA players Darren Collison and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute. UCLA jumped out to an early lead built on suffocating defense and efficient offense. This team was a joy to watch.
Early in the first half, great ball movement results in a Westbrook dunk.
Tenacious man-to-man defense by Westbrook with an aggressive high hedge by Aboya. PAA with the finish!
James Keefe has his best game as a Bruin. This is one of his 4 blocks.
Kevin Love gets great position for 2 of his 29 points.
The Bruins break the WKU full court press.
Russell Westbrook with the no-look pass to James Keefe for the dunk.
Final Score: UCLA 88, Western Kentucky 78
Leading Scorers: Kevin Love 29, James Keefe 18
Let's hope that the 2014 Bruins match the Sweet Sixteen success of these four UCLA teams.