INDIANAPOLIS – No. 11-seed UCLA (21-9) will face No. 1-seed Michigan (23-4) in a Regional Final matchup on Tuesday evening at Lucas Oil Stadium. Game time is set for 6:57 p.m. (PT). This marks the Bruins’ first trip to the Regional Finals (Elite Eight) since advancing to three straight Final Fours from 2006 through 2008. UCLA’s game on Tuesday will be televised on TBS.
Venue: Lucas Oil Stadium (Indianapolis, Ind.)
Game Time: 6:57 p.m. PT (9:57 p.m. ET)
TV Talent: Brian Anderson (play-by-play), Jim Jackson (analyst), Allie LaForce (sideline)
Radio (UCLA Sports Network): AM 870
Radio Talent: Josh Lewin (play-by-play), Tracy Murray (analyst)
SIRIUS and XM Radio Channels: Ch. 138 / Ch. 210
SIRIUSXM Internet Channel: Ch. 968
MONDAY’S ZOOM PRESS CONFERENCES
Bruins’ head coach Mick Cronin and junior guard Jules Bernard spoke to the media, via Zoom, on Monday in press conferences at Lucas Oil Stadium (the site of this week’s Elite Eight matchups). Coach Cronin’s Media Session | J. Bernard’s Media Session
ABOUT THE BRUINS
– UCLA looks to secure its first trip to the NCAA Tournament’s Final Four since advancing in 2008.
– The Bruins are in the Elite Eight for the first time since 2008 and for the fourth time since 2006.
– The Bruins have advanced to the Regional Finals (Elite Eight) in 23 total NCAA Tournaments.
– This marks the first NCAA Tournament for each of UCLA’s players except for senior guard Chris Smith (who is injured).
– Dating back to last season, UCLA has won 20 of its past 27 Pac-12 contests (and 32 of 44 overall games).
– Not including Chris Smith (injured), UCLA has five active players who have averaged at least 10.0 points per game.
– UCLA ranks No. 1 in the Pac-12 in fewest turnovers per game (10.7) and was No. 3 in fewest fouls per game (16.1).
– UCLA lost to BYU and Michigan State in the 2019 Maui Invitational but defeated both teams in the last two weeks.
– The Bruins have committed fewer fouls than their opponent in 23 of 30 games this season.
UCLA VERSUS MICHIGAN
The Bruins have gone 12-6 in the all-time series against Michigan. These two programs most recently played each other in a home-and-home series in Dec. 2016 (Pauley Pavilion) and Dec. 2017 (Chrisler Center). The Bruins won the matchup in Pauley Pavilion by a 102-84 margin. One year later, Michigan overcame a 15-point deficit early in the second half to win the game in overtime, 78-69. UCLA has gone 3-1 against Michigan in four prior NCAA Tournament meetings. Most recently, the two schools faced other in the NCAA Tournament in the second round in 1998 (UCLA won, 85-82, in Atlanta).
THE ROAD TO THE FINAL FOUR
Since the tournament expanded to 32 teams in 1975, UCLA has made seven trips to the Final Four (also known as the national semifinals). Most recently, the Bruins advanced to three consecutive Final Fours in 2006, 2007 and 2008. UCLA has not played in the Elite Eight or advanced to the Final Four since 2008. Through the program’s past nine trips to the Elite Eight (since 1975), the Bruins have gone 7-2. UCLA head coach Mick Cronin (second year with the Bruins) has never advanced to the Final Four, during his 18-year head coaching career (12 NCAA Tournament trips).
The Bruins have made 18 previous trips to the Final Four. In those 18 meetings, UCLA has compiled a record of 13-5. The Bruins have won a nation-leading 11 NCAA Championships (most recently, in 1995).
AGAINST THE FIELD
UCLA faced three of the 16 squads that advanced to the NCAA Tournament’s regional semifinals (USC, Oregon State and Oregon). The Pac-12 Conference went 11-2 through the first three rounds of the 68-team tournament. UCLA has logged consecutive wins against Michigan State, BYU, Abilene Christian and Alabama.
UCLA DEFEATS ALABAMA
The Bruins advanced to the Elite Eight on Sunday night with an 88-78 overtime win against No. 2-seed Alabama. That marked the program’s first win over a No. 1 or No. 2 seed since knocking off No. 1-seed Kansas (68-55) in the 2007 Elite Eight (NCAA West Regional in San Jose, Calif.). Since that game in 2007, the Bruins have faced a No. 1 seed three times (0-3 record) and a No. 2 seed three times (0-3 record). UCLA last faced a No. 2 seed in 2017, falling to Kentucky in the Sweet 16, 86-75, in Memphis, Tenn. The Bruins last took on a No. 1 seed in 2014
(Florida, Sweet 16).
– Tyger Campbell (first team), Jaime Jaquez Jr. (second team) and Johnny Juzang (second team) earned All-Pac-12 honors.
– Tyger Campbell (10.2 ppg, 5.4 apg) ranks No. 2 in the Pac-12 in assists per game and No. 4 in assist-turnover ratio (2.9).
– Jaime Jaquez Jr. (34.7) and Tyger Campbell (33.6) have ranked No. 4 and 7, respectively, in the Pac-12 in minutes/game.
– Johnny Juzang leads all Pac-12 players in free throw percentage (91.1%, 51 of 56), through Sunday, March 28
– David Singleton ranks No. 2 in the Pac-12 in 3-point percentage (47.0%, 39-for-83), through Sunday, March 28.
– Cody Riley ranks No. 8 in the Pac-12 in overall field goal percentage (54.7%, 111-203), through Sunday, March 28.
– Jaime Jaquez Jr. ranks No. 9 in the Pac-12 in rebounds per game (6.1 rpg), through Sunday, March 28.
Through 50 total NCAA Tournament appearances, the Bruins have compiled a record of 110-42 with a nation-leading 11 NCAA Championships. The Bruins won 10 of those 11 NCAA titles from 1964 through 1975, including a streak of seven consecutive national championships from 1967 through 1973 (under the late Coach John Wooden). Prior to this season, the Bruins had most recently advanced to the NCAA Tournament (First Four) in 2018. The Bruins have not reached the Final Four since three consecutive trips in 2006, 2007 and 2008 under former head coach Ben Howland.
Mick Cronin is one of just five coaches to have led his teams to the past 10 NCAA Tournaments. That includes nine consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances as the head coach at Cincinnati (2011-19). Joining Cronin on that list are Mark Few (Gonzaga), Tom Izzo (Michigan State), Bill Self (Kansas) and Roy Williams (North Carolina).
Johnny Juzang has averaged 20.0 points and 4.0 rebounds in four NCAA Tournament wins. He totaled a team-best 27 points in a 73-62 win over BYU (March 20). He became the third UCLA player to have scored at least 20 points in each of his first two NCAA Tournament contests (joining Lew Alcindor and Reggie Miller in that category). Juzang has 44.9% from the field and 34.5% from 3-point territory (10-for-29) in the NCAA Tournament. Only Lew Alcindor (86 points) and Kevin Love (68 points) scored more points through their first three NCAA Tournament games than Juzang (67 points), while at UCLA.
UCLA has won four consecutive games in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since advancing to the Final Four in 2008. That season, the Bruins registered wins against Mississippi Valley State, Texas A&M, Western Kentucky and Xavier. In fact, the Bruins have not won three consecutive NCAA Tournament games since the 2008 tournament. UCLA has not won five consecutive games in the NCAA Tournament since advancing to the championship contest in 2006 (UCLA lost to Florida in the NCAA title game that season, 73-57, at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis, Ind.).
The Bruins’ roster includes 10 players who are sophomores and juniors. This season, UCLA started a freshman in just one game – against USC on March 6, Mac Etienne earned his first career start. The last time any UCLA squad went through an entire season without any freshmen making a start was 1996-97. In 2013-14, UCLA had two freshmen (Zach LaVine, Bryce Alford) who made just one start in the same game (a double-overtime loss at home to Oregon in late February).
UCLA won 13 of 19 Pac-12 contests this season and has now won 24 of its past 33 Pac-12 games, dating back to January of 2020 (starting with last season’s 50-40 home win against California on Jan. 19, 2020). Through that stretch of 33 Pac-12 contests, the Bruins have gone 14-3 in games decided by five points or fewer, or that ended in overtime (regardless of the final score margin). This season, UCLA went 8-1 in Pac-12 home games (and 5-5 away from home).
UCLA’s team has five players who are currently averaging at least 10.0 points per game (not including the injured Chris Smith). In fact, 10 players on the Bruins’ current roster have scored at least 10 points in one game this season. The Bruins have six players score in double figures in an overtime win against Alabama in the Sweet 16 on March 28. Five of UCLA’s players who have seen action in this season’s NCAA Tournament have scored at least 20 points in one game this year.
Through two seasons under head coach Mick Cronin, UCLA has gone 18-6 in games decided by five points or fewer (and all contests that have finished in overtime, regardless of score margin). Last season, the Bruins went 7-3 in those narrow contests. This year, UCLA has gone 11-3. Through Coach Cronin’s final three seasons at Cincinnati (2016-17 through 2018-19), his teams went 18-7 in those situations. From 2016-17 through the 2020-21 season, Coach Cronin’s teams have gone 36-13 in such contests. Two of the Bruins’ four NCAA Tournament wins have taken place in overtime.
70 POINTS OR FEWER
UCLA has gone 14-3 when limiting the opposition to 70 or fewer points. Last season, UCLA went 18-1 in such situations (lone loss, 54-52, at USC in the regular season finale). Through his final three seasons as Cincinnati’s head coach (2016-17 through 2018-19), Coach Cronin’s teams went 79-10 when holding the opposition to 70 or fewer points. Over the past five seasons, his teams have gone 108-14 when limiting the opponent to 70 or fewer points (through 162 total games).
Tyger Campbell has become UCLA’s first point guard to start in that role for two consecutive seasons since Bryce Alford (sophomore in 2014-15, junior in 2015-16). In fact, UCLA has had eight different players serve as the primary “starting” point guard over the past 10 seasons (2011-12 through 2020-21). Campbell has averaged 10.2 points and 5.4 assists per game during his sophomore season. His assist-to-turnover ratio (2.9) ranks No. 4 among all Pac-12 players. Campbell registered a season-high 12 assists in the Bruins’ Pac-12 opener against California on Dec. 6, 2020.