Searching for revenge
In rematch of the '06 title game, UCLA comes up short
Posted: Friday March 30, 2007 10:04AM; Updated: Friday March 30, 2007 11:50AM
Florida (33-5) vs. UCLA (30-5)
A rematch of last year's title game headlines a heavyweight Final Four. UCLA is still stinging from last year's 73-57 defeat in the championship game, and the Bruins will once again have their hands full. Count on UCLA coach Ben Howland to come up with a defensive-minded game plan to slow the Gators down. Florida cannot afford another slow start against a team that stifled red-hot Kansas in the West Regional Final.
Florida's Taurean Green
Green makes the Gators go and needs to bring his A-game to Atlanta. When Green is taking care of the ball, distributing and hitting from the outside, the Gators are tough to beat. He'll face a difficult task against Darren Collison and UCLA's defensive pressure, but if he maintains his usual poise he'll have the slightest advantage in terms of experience.
UCLA's Darren Collison
Collison has made many UCLA fans forget about Jordan Farmar. Collison is quick, crafty and a thief on defense. He leads the Bruins with 78 steals, five short of Cameron Dollar's single-season record. An underrated offensive player, he is shooting 59.3 percent from the field and 62.5 percent from three-point range in the NCAA tournament. If Collison can stay out of foul trouble and continue to make good decisions, UCLA will be in the game.
Florida's Lee Humphrey
If you leave Humphrey open on the perimeter -- or even give him an inch -- he'll bury you, just as he did to Oregon in the Midwest Regional Final, hitting seven three-pointers. He has now hit a trey in 37 consecutive games and is the school's all-time leader in threes with 280. He'll have to keep moving and use picks against UCLA, because, as in last year's title game, the Bruins won't help off of Humphrey.
UCLA's Arron Afflalo
Afflalo is smooth, explosive off the dribble and has the ability to beat teams by slashing in the lane from the outside. Simply put, he's a scorer. He creates a difficult matchup for most opponents, but expect Florida to rotate Humphrey and the longer and athletic Corey Brewer on him. Afflalo must stay under control and not get frustrated when things aren't going well and keep his head up as the Gators will try to draw charges to halt his penetration.
Florida's Corey Brewer
Brewer is Florida's best all-around player and a difficult matchup for opponents because of his length, speed and ability to get to the rim. A streaky outside shooter, he's much more effective when he's slashing to the basket and is at his absolute best in transition. Brewer is a very good defensive player and will be called upon to help out on Afflalo.
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