The history of Kentucky vs. UCLA

UCLA (31-5) shot 52 percent from the field and made 9 of 23 3-point attempts, but the Bruins committed 13 turnovers, which led to 14 Kentucky (32-5) points.

"Somebody that was really good wasn't going to win this game", UCLA head coach Steve Alford said.

"I think he's motivated just to win because they beat us the first time, outfought us the first time", Malik Monk said, downplaying the one-on-one matchup. Not because of our scoring. Meanwhile, Ball looked absolutely ordinary, if not entirely outmatched, in scoring 10 pretty meaningless points and basically having no impact on the biggest game of his life to this point.

Monk scored 14 of his 21 points in the second half as United Kingdom avenged a regular-season loss to Bruins and advanced to the region finals against North Carolina, which beat Butler 92-80 in the first semifinal. "The relationships I built, you can't touch that". Put it all together, and there will likely be at least six future NBA players on the court in Memphis on Friday night, making it a must-watch game if you're interested in the future of the Association. "I got it going early and Coach said keep getting me the ball". And boy, did De'Aaron Fox pick the right time to have the best game of what will be his short college career.

And they're still waiting on him to be that franchise player.

T.J. Leaf and Isaac Hamilton each scored 17 points to lead UCLA (31-5).

He points at Fox, the freshman guard who outplayed UCLA phenom Lonzo Ball with one of the best scoring nights in Kentucky's vaunted NCAA Tournament history. Kentucky ran when opportunities were there, but it successfully slowed UCLA, forcing the Bruins to be a team of jump-shooters, and allowed very little in the paint. The freshmen are two of the best point guards in the country. United Kingdom held the Bruins to 43 percent and only 33 points in the first half by chasing their shooters off the 3-point arc and forcing them to take challenged 2s. Adebayo leads in rebounds with 7.8 while Fox leads in assists with 4.8 and in steals with 1.4 per game. The Bruins did a great job defensively on coming off their men to help their bigs in the post against Adebayo, who had 18 points and 13 rebounds in the first meeting back in December. Since then, Ball has been a talking point on seemingly every national sports talk show, even though he's mostly just a sidenote, attached to some over-the-top proclamation his blowhard father, LaVar, spews out of his mouth. He was held to 10 points, eight assists with four turnovers in an 86-75 loss to Kentucky. Calipari, who has led Kentucky to the Sweet Sixteen in six of his eight seasons at Kentucky, improved to a flawless 6-0 in regional semifinal games. On offense, Calipari wanted Fox to initiate the offense, something that's not a surprise given how Kentucky's played all season long.

And what about senior Dominique Hawkins? The Wildcats slowly extended their lead and ultimately the Bruins never cut the deficit beyond nine points inside the final five minutes.

  • Angelo Rivera