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Of course lot of folks in the traditional media are going to be writing about the UCLA-Florida matchup as game between two very different team playing at different tempos. Everyone will be wondering how UCLA's defense will be dealing with Florida's fast-paced multi-dimensional offense. What lot of people will be miss the point on how UCLA itself also gets out on its own fastbreaks as well. One writer who didn't miss this point and actually cared to look beyond the obvious storly lines is Mike DeCourcy of Sporting News. DeCourcy disspells some conventional wisdom on tempo and has some other good observations on tomorrow night's game in his latest blog post at Sporting News:

The Bruins busted out about 10 of them (as in fastbreaks - N) in the first half of their Saturday night game against LSU. Though not many of those breaks resulted in points, they set a pace the Tigers could not match. Hardly anybody in the media noticed, however, and I'm going to tell you why: Many reporters were busy chronicling the conclusion of George Mason's improbable Final Four run. That was the big story, and everybody was busy writing the heck out of it. By the time they finished, UCLA had blitzed the Tigers to the brink of the offseason and Bruins coach Ben Howland was telling his guys to work over the shot clock, instead of LSU. What the writers saw: more boring Bruins ball.

So Sunday morning, the prevailing theme was about how Florida likes to run and UCLA likes to walk. An interesting theory, if only it were true.

Florida runs when it can, walks when it must.

Same thing at UCLA.

"I don't think we're low-scoring," says Bruins point guard Jordan Farmar. "We just do what it takes to win, and we're smart."

Since March began, Florida has won nine games, scoring 70 or more in seven and 59 or less in two. In that period, UCLA has won 10 games, scoring 70 or more in six and 59 or less in two. The conclusion: both teams will play at the pace they need to win.
Also over at CNNSI's blog, Luke Wynn also has a good take on the game tempo in tomorrow night's matchup:
In terms of tempo (possessions per 40 minutes), offensive and defensive efficiency (points per 100 possessions), and efficiency margin (the gap between the two ratings), here's how the Bruins and Gators stack up (all stats are the latest from, and adjusted for competition):

Team   Tempo        Off Eff.      Def. Eff.    Eff.
       (Nat'l Rk.)  (Nat'l Rk.)   (Nat'l Rk.)  Mrgn.

UCLA   63.3 (306)   113.2 (24)    83.8 (3)     +29.4
UF     68.6 (120)   117.7 (6)     87.1 (8)     +30.6

What it means: The general impression of the title game is that it features two elite defenses and only one elite offense (Florida's). The second part just ain't true. The Bruins' unhurried pace -- they're the 306th slowest out of 334 teams in Division I -- keeps their scoring totals low, but their offense, which was running on all cylinders against LSU in the first half, operates at a high level of efficiency. Couple that with UCLA's incredibly stout D, and its Efficiency Margin -- the spread between its offensive and defensive ratings -- is within 1.2 points per 100 possessions of Florida's (at 29.4 to 30.6). In a game that's likely to have a possession total in the low-to-mid-60s, the difference between the teams is miniscule.
I think one of the keys again is going to be play of our guards. One thing that really worked out well for us last night was how we came out of the gates nailing down some key outside jumpers. If Jordan can come out again and nail down treys (within the flow of our offense), and Arron can knock down few of his shots (as amazing a defensive tournament AA has had, he is due for a big offensive performance like some of his regular season games - BTW I am not complaining) that will losen up Florida's defense. Those outside shots went a long way in putting some huge holes in LSU's zone last night. X-factor is going to be Ced. If he can continue to play his trademark defense and keep Cory Brewer in check, I like our chances.