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The Final-4 (**** SC)

Some facts and numbers for you to chew on while you are humming that Final-4 band tune on your way to work or all day at work:

Final Four Factoids

When UCLA tips off against LSU Saturday, the Bruins will be playing in an NCAA-record 29th Final Four game. North Carolina has played in 27, Duke 25, Kentucky 23 and Kansas 21.

The Bruins have an NCAA-record 24 Final Four wins. Kentucky is second with 17.

UCLA's record in Final Four games is 24-4 (85.7 percent)

Other schools with better than an 80 percent mark: UConn (100 percent, 4-0), North Carolina State (83.3, 5-1), San Francisco (83.3, 5-1) and Indiana (80.0, 12-3).

UCLA leads LSU 7-0 in the all-time series.

UCLA has played Final Fours in nine states and once before played in Indianapolis, in 1980 when Larry Brown coached the Bruins.

Ben Howland joins John Wooden, Brown and Jim Harrick (1995) as coaches taking UCLA to the Final Four.

UCLA's 11 NCAA titles lead Kentucky (seven), Indiana (five), North Carolina (four) and Duke (3) for all-time championships.
That was courtesy of Dan Weber of thePress Enterprise.

Also some few quick hits to chew on:

*This whole season has been about exorcising many past demons. We finally beat Stanford at home and at Maples. We finally swept Arizona and have pretty much made them irrelevant in terms of competition in the Pac-10 (we will own them from here on out).  We got rid of the Pac-10 tourney jinx. But guess what we still have one more major demon to exorcize.  We need to erase the memories of Princeton (1996) and Detroit Mercy (1999). Both of those humiliations took place at? You guessed it - at Indy. So this Saturday - we will have one more demon to exorcize. Getting a win Saturday night is going to go a long way in erasing those awful memories inside that dome at Indy.

*We are taking on the "Big-Baby." Is anyone else having a 1995 flashback about the "Big Country"? You remember this guy - right?

Still remember highlights of this kid shattering the backboard during the practices of Seattle's Final-4.

*It is awesome that everyone is hating on UCLA. UCLA haters are starting to come out the woodwork. Watch these losers get even more desperate in the coming months when they realize Bruins are just getting started with the next phase of DOMINATION of college football. And unlike USC we are not going to be get all hot and bothered over shared titles (not to mention our players will not be mugging, stealing or brandishing guns on or around campus).

*I wonder if Tim Floyd still thinks this?
You mentioned Arizona as the standard for recruiting, how much is UCLA the standard for long-term success in basketball?

I think you look at what's going on right now and the team to beat right now is Arizona. In my opinion, that is the team that everyone should be concerned with over the course of the last ten years. They have been playing at a high national level on a consistent basis, turning out NBA players. They have been doing a lot of their work here in southern California. It makes a lot of sense for a young man who is thinking about the next four years of his life as opposed to leaving our area to build a relationship with the Trojan family, which is so strong. Those are the type of things that we are going to sell and try to do. They will be our staff's measuring stick and I consider Lute (Olson) a guy to look at with great respect. There are a lot of coaches in this league who are terrific basketball coaches, but Lute got that program turned around by being a recruiting coach. I intend to do the same thing here.
Again that was just a little more than year ago. Timmeh of course is going to be just another Pac-10 stooge for Howland during the coming years.

*Not a single team from ESPN's favorite conferences - the Big Least, the pac-10, and the ACC made the Final-4. And speaking of Novas' and Huskies loss today - it means Bruins are the highest seed left and we are going to be in these jerseys from hereon out:

AP Photo

Not a bad omen if you ask me. We are going to be sporting the white home jerseys just like we did during the Pac-10 tourney. Well with the 16th Final-4 tourney appearance, you can see why we are treating this event just like our conference tourney. ;-)

Less than 6 days to go. GO BRUINS.