WCCO EYE4 LOGO WCCO Radio wcco-eye-green01, ww color green

TALE OF THE TAPE

NCAA Tournament First Round: #6 UCLA Vs. #11 Minnesota

#6 UCLA
#11 Minnesota
Oregon v UCLA - Pac-12 Championship
Big Ten Basketball Tournament - First Round
Coaching
Winner Ben Howland has a distinguished career, highlighted by three trips to the Final Four, but his status is up in the air at UCLA, as athletic director Dan Guerrero has given him no public assurances.
Tubby Smith had a national championship on his belt before being unceremoniously run out of town in Kentucky. This looked to be his most promising season with Minnesota, but the Golden Gophers have been sliding.
Offense
Winner Once known for the Big East, ground-and-pound sort of attack, Howland switched things up and went more showtime. Shabazz Muhammad and Jordan Adams combined brilliantly for more than 30 points a game, but now that Adams has a broken foot, the attack is more limited.
The Golden Gophers thrive on bullying their way through a half-court game, which can be punishing for opponents but still a little feeble from an offensive standpoint. Minnesota ranked 149th in points per game.
Defense
Once a Howland staple, the Bruins have slipped some on defense since their deep tournament runs a few years ago. While it still hasn’t reached lockdown mode, UCLA’s team defense has improved considerably after late February.
Winner All year long, Minnesota has guarded the rim and the perimeter with sound rotations and efficiency. Opponents have managed just 61.7 points per game against the Gophers.
Bench Depth
The loss of Adams really hurt UCLA’s depth chart, now that bench stalwart Norman Powell has to fill in with starter’s minutes. David Wear has been dependable for them in a sixth-man type role.
Winner Depth is clearly one of Minnesota’s strong suits. Lately, the Gophers have been running nine deep, getting significant contributions from Maverick Ahanmisi, Elliott Eliason, Joe Coleman and the other Hollins – Andre.

We'll Just Call it a Tie

Oregon v UCLA - Pac-12 Championship Big Ten Basketball Tournament - First Round

UCLA. Minnesota has the weapons to dance for a while, but entering the tournament after losing seven of their last 10 games is a worrisome sign – something UCLA’s higher-octane offense should capitalize on.

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 1: Adrian Peterson #28 of the Minnesota Vikings carries the ball for ten thousand career rushing yards against Chris Conte #47 of the Chicago Bears on December 1, 2013 at Mall of America Field at the Hubert Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (credit: Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)
    Who’s More Valuable: Patterson Or Peterson?

    They are two of the biggest playmakers the Minnesota Vikings have in their offense, and they also happen to be two of the biggest playmakers in the NFL. There’s no doubt that the Vikings would be a much different team without Cordarelle Patterson and Adrian Peterson. But which player is more valuable to the Vikings to have a successful season? It’s a tough question to ask and extremely difficult to find a definitive answer.

  2. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images) (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
    Tale Of The Tape: Philadelphia Eagles At Indianapolis Colts

    Nick Foles could not believe his eyes when he looked at the scoreboard in Week One and found his Eagles trailing the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars 17-0 at home in the first half.

  3. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
    Tale Of The Tape: Chicago Bears At San Francisco 49ers

    The Bears had a disastrous home loss to the Buffalo Bills in the season opener, and they now play six of their next eight games on the road.

See All Tales of the Tape
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,855 other followers