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Championship Saturday ...

We have clinched at least a tie for the Pac-10 regular season title but obviously that is not good enough for the leaders of this team:


Photo:  Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

Coach Howland (an obvious candidate for NCOY honor), Jordan et al. are not interested in any kind of tie. They have the perspective down on what they need to get done today at Maples. Here is Dohn on Bruins not wanting to settle for a tie:

"We don't want a tie," said UCLA coach Ben Howland, who outlined what the Bruins can gain with a win. "The Pac-10 title outright, but there's so many things. What about the potential seeding in the NCAA Tournament ? What about the potential seeding in the Pac 10 tournament? There's so many things - continuing momentum. We don't want to lose. That's for damn sure."

By beating Stanford, UCLA would sweep a Bay Area trip for the first time since 2000, ruin Senior Day for the Cardinal trio of Matt Haryasz, Chris Hernandez and Dan Grunfeld and likely deal a lethal blow to Stanford's longshot NCAA Tournament hopes.

Not to mention being crowned the lone Pac-10 champion.

"We don't want to share anything with anybody," Farmar said. "We worked so hard. We feel that we worked hard enough that we earned it and deserve it. We have to go out and take it. Nobody is going to give it to us."
And of course they are going to have to come out hard (as we have been saying for last few weeks) right from the get go. Satanfurd is gonna be fired up. This is the last home game for Hairyass and co.  They know Satanfurd will never again be in the same class as UCLA as long as Howland is here. So they are going to come out fired up and try to land a big punch.  They are going to come out and play like all those pathetic Laker opponents back during the glory days (Magic's teams, Shaq-Kobe teams) when they used to come out fired up in the first half with their pathetic (think Sacramento Queens fans) "Beat LA" chants and try to attempt a knock out. So needless to say we will need to be ready to handle the Satanfurd emotion early in the first half. Here is Jordan setting the table:
"Teams play with a lot of energy against us," said fellow guard Jordan Farmar. "But then, in the second half, fatigue sets in, and their shots don't go in."

Meanwhile, the Bruins, like a fighter who has hung on the ropes and let his opponent punch himself out, seem re-energized as the second half ensues.

"It's a matter of life or death then," Afflalo said. "We've got no choice."

Farmar wants to change the UCLA pattern today, regardless of the emotional atmosphere the Bruins encounter in Maples.

"We can't worry about what motives they have," he said. "No matter how intense teams come out, we should be able to handle it."
Exciting stuff. For more on this afternoon's date at Maples - game preview with matchups and stats make sure to check out BBR. Let's bring this baby home today and make it a Championship Saturday for those magical four letters in blue and gold. GO BRUINS.