Friday, March 8, 2024

Love Towers Over Tiny - UCLA 79, UTEP 64

 With no one taller than 6'5, Tiny Archibald's 1970 UTEP had no answer for 6'10 Kevin Love, who scored 24 points and grabbed 9 rebounds to advance 2008 UCLA 79-64.

Archibald put on another dazzling performance in an incredible point guard matchup against Russell Westbrook. He hit two 3-pointers, had a dunk and added another basket in the first five possessions of our game to give UTEP a 30-23 lead before Love even entered the game. 

But by half time UCLA had a 38-35 lead and never looked back, advancing to the Elite 8. Love will face a much tougher challenge next against the all-time shot blocking duo of Alonzo Mourning and Dikembe Mutombo.

This truly was one of the greatest teams to never win the title. It was a third straight Final Four appearance, and their loss there to Memphis and one loss to USC during the season were both vacated by those teams - so really just the losses to Texas and Washington were pure. The Bruins also allowed 29 points total in their actual first round tournament game that year. 

We notes the top 6 teams getting byes in the tournament all seemed much better than the other 20 teams in this tournament BUT actually this was the first easy win if the four teams with a bye that have played so far.

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