LSU (26-8) vs. UCLA (31-8) Saturday, 8:47 p.m. ET (approximately), CBS RCA Dome (47,000)
If you like defense, scrappy play and all-out hustle, you'll love this one. Neither team will run the other off the court, but they can both dig down deep on D and are opportunistic about pushing it in transition. Expect this game to go stretches without any scoring. Blocked shots and bodies flying could become as common as baskets.
The Tigers' lone senior is a big-time player in the clutch. He hit a three-pointer with 3.9 seconds remaining to beat Texas A&M in the second round and also made game-winning treys against West Virginia and Arkansas in the regular season. He can slash and get into the lane, but you can't give him an inch because he's a deadly outside shooter (a school-record 258 career three-pointers).
UCLA's Jordan Farmar Soph., 6-2, 180 Stats: 13.4 ppg, 5.2 apg
If Farmar is on his game, chances are the Bruins will be in it. A terrific point guard who can score as well as he can pass, Farmar is crafty with the ball and a good three-point shooter off the dribble or off screens. He must stay aggressive against LSU and open up the middle by driving the lane and dishing.
One of three freshmen in the Tigers' starting lineup, Temple has made huge strides this season. He is LSU's best perimeter defender and was credited with shutting down Duke's J.J. Redick in the regional semifinal. Quick and athletic, Temple can also produce on the offensive end. UCLA has to be careful not to leave him open from three-point range when helping out inside.
If Farmar can penetrate and dish, Afflalo will be the biggest beneficiary. A natural scorer, good spot-up shooter and decent slasher, Afflalo hurts teams with his versatility. He will be pushed to the limit against Temple and must keep his focus -- and cool -- for 40 minutes. In what is likely to be a defensive game, UCLA needs Afflalo to have one of his better offensive efforts.
The Tigers' most heralded recruit, Mitchell (no relation to Darrel) is a big-time talent who is still maturing. He has a tendency to disappear for one stretch and then explode in the next. He seems to be coming into his own and is extremely dangerous around the basket. Long and athletic, he's been a good addition to the Tigers' dominating front line.
A grizzled veteran who has been plagued by injuries throughout his career, Bozman started at the point as a freshman and has played every position except center. He doesn't like to bang but will be forced to do so against LSU. He cannot afford to get pushed around or taken out of the flow on either end.