The UCLA Bruins are going to have an uphill version against the Florida Gators in Round of 32 action in the 2011 NCAA Basketball Tournament. This will be the second game of Saturday's March Madness action, which will be televised on CBS at 11:45 AM PT/2:45 PM ET (click here for the full schedule). Here's our first look at these two teams.
#2 Florida Gators
Ken Pomeroy says 17th best offense, 35th best defense, very slow tempo. Strong shooting team, particularly with regards to two point field goals, plus excellent three point defense. Good at forcing jump shots and keeping teams off the line. Florida gets a lot of rebounds (particularly offensive boards).
The weaknesses with Florida is they don't get to the free throw line and they don't shoot free throws. They are a pretty good jump shooting team, but if they're in a close game late, this could be an Achilles heel.
#7 UCLA Bruins
Ken Pomeroy says 85th best offense, 37th best defense, average tempo. Good two point shooting offense and defense. Excellent at getting to the free throw line and keeping the opposing team off of it. Good offensive rebounding team (average defensively).
The weaknesses with UCLA is that they're a poor three point shooting offense and an average three point shooting defense. Could hurt them when they fall behind. They're also turning over the ball and not forcing turnovers.
Prediction: If this was on a neutral court, the Bruins could probably pull off the upset. Their two point defense matches up well with the two point offense of the Gators. Their rebounding is decent enough to hold them down, and they can get to the line and get a huge advantage at the stripe. It could definitely be a toss-up game.
But they're playing in Tampa/St. Petersburg, which is essentially the worst type of road game. Yeah. Not happening. Gators.