The UCLA Bruins are playing as good of basketball as any team in America right now.
The Pac-12 Conference tournament champions and fourth seeded Bruins rolled to an easy NCAA tournament third-round victory over upset-minded Stephen F. Austin. The Lumberjacks showed some fight early on in the game and looked like they might be able to hang with UCLA, which they did, but not for long.
Steve Alford‘s Bruins took a 10-point lead into halftime before ultimately running away from SFA and winning by a score of 77-60. UCLA had great balance offensively with three players scoring at least 15 points. Jordan Adams and Kyle Anderson led the way. Adams poured in 19 points and six rebounds while his fellow backcourt mate Anderson tallied 15 points, grabbed eight rebounds and dished out five assists.
Thomas Walkup was terrific for the Lumberjacks in defeat. He had a double-double scoring 22 points to go along with 11 boards. Despite the outcome, SFA can surely walk away from this game and season with their heads held high. Today’s loss snapped their incredible 29-game winning streak and has them finishing the 2013-14 campaign at 32-3. Props to coach Brad Underwood on one heck of a season.
Back to the Bruins, though, where the beat goes on. UCLA has now won five-straight contests and seven of eight overall. In Adams and Anderson, they have two exceptional players and scorers who are really starting to hit their stride. Momentum seems to be a big thing this type of year and that’s exactly what Alford’s bunch currently has.
Up next is a different animal: The Big Dance’s No. 1 overall seed, the Florida Gators. Should be some kind of battle when these two traditional college basketball powers matchup next week at the Sweet 16 in Memphis.
Matthew Sturgeon is a College Basketball Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @OfficialSturg27.