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Howland keeps the focus on Zags saying we are basically playing a team which has the potential to win it all:

"This is best team we've played all year," Ben Howland said Monday. "That's not, in my mind, a question. We've played some good ones. I think West Virginia, I think Washington, I think there's some very good teams, Memphis. ...

"But I think they're the best team we've seen as I watch them on tape. We're going to have to play our best game of the year to give ourselves a chance."

[...]

"This is what (Gonzaga) makes me think of," Howland said. "I graduated from college in 1979, and that was the same year Larry Bird led his (Indiana State) team to an undefeated season, until they lost in the championship to Michigan State.

"And that is a very good analogy of Adam Morrison. He's very much Bird-esque. The only difference is Gonzaga has a lot better players surrounding Adam Morrison than did Larry Bird on that Indiana State team."

[...]

"This is a team that, no question, can win the national championship," Howland said. "They have as good a shot as anybody winning the national championship."
While Howland was heaping praise on the Zags, Mark Few has been sounding a little insecure about what Howland has accomplished in Westwood. Interesting to see Few going out of his way to take digs at Howland's scheduling strategy (parroting the Lavin narrative from earlier in the season) and also mentioning how UCLA will not recapture its old glory. Sure hope someone passed that interview on to the players.

Speaking of our players they have finals to deal with this week on top of getting ready for Thursday night. They will be fine. Howland and his staff will keep them focused staying on top of them to make sure they act like they have been here before (from Dohn's report):
After scoring three points in 15 minutes in the opening round against Belmont, Roll played four minutes against Alabama, went 0 for 2 from the field and didn't score. Even worse, his first shot, a 3-pointer, against Alabama was an air ball. The 3-point specialist was 1 for 8 from the field in two games.

"I think he was probably a little nervous," Howland said. "Right before the first game, I probably didn't help him, because he came into the arena that day with his video camera on. I was like, 'Go ahead, Mike, act like you've been there, even though you haven't. We're not (videotaping) anything. I'll send you one at the end of the season.' "
lol Hopefully Mike gets back on track on Thursday night. Meanwhile, one Bruin who is on tracke these days is - Ryan Hollins - making most of his last chance to shine as a Bruin. Kuwada has a nice article on Hollions's recent efforts in the OC Register. It's a nice read and it's all about our Bruins staying focused. Is it Thursday yet? GO BRUINS.