Sunday, March 23, 2008

Sports: UCLA 51 Texas A&M 49

Was at the Pond yesterday!

Game one was high drama with Stanford winning it on a late shot in OT 82-81 over Marquette.

As a Pac10 partisan, was rooting for Stanford. After that game, the UCLA fans in our section were all thinking, okay, a little less drama please for our beloved Bruins!

Well, you guessed it, Texas A&M came out and punched UCLA in mouth with physical play and just wanting it more en route to building a 10 point lead by the mid-second half.

But, like all year long, the Bruins just seem to find a way to fight back and won 53-49 as Collison and Love simply refused to lose on offense and the whole team playing strangling defense in the last half of the 2nd half.



UPDATE: The final basket by Westbrook came after the buzzer. The official score has been corrected to 51-49.

Links to video highlights.

UPDATE: Play log of the game. Check this out:
10:09 Donald Sloan made Two Point Jumper. TxAM 44 UCLA 36.
4:14 Derrick Roland made Free Throw. TxAM 45 UCLA 43.
UCLA's defense held them scoreless almost SIX minutes!

UPDATE: There has been some criticism here , here and here, that the refs swallowed the whistle on the final drive by Sloan. Certainly, in the still photos, it looked like a foul. In full speed live action from the upper bowl (i.e. very far away!) in the Honda Center, it didn't seem like a foul. Nonetheless, I can understand the angst over the no call.

It is one of those dreadful "what ifs?" Would Sloan have made the 2 foul shots to send it into OT? Who would have won in another 5 minutes of bruising basketball? We will never know because the ref either missed it or didn't feel the contact was enough to make the call?

However, it has to be said, in both games the fans in our section were scratching our heads repeatedly at the inconsistency of the calls. Sometimes very obvious "muggings" weren't called and other times ticky tack calls were made. Any number of calls were probably missed that could have added or subtracted points and you hope the "boo-boos" balance out. But on a highly visible final play, it is hard to be satisfied with that explanation of the limitations and realities of sports officiating.

IN any case, GO BRUINS!!!

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