Afflalo, Bruins surge past Kansas to reach Final Four
San Jose, CA (Sports Network) – Arron Afflalo scored 24 points, and UCLA
earned its second consecutive trip to the Final Four by beating Kansas, 68-55,
in the West Regional final.
Afflalo went 10-of-15 from the field for the second-seeded Bruins (30-5),
while Darren Collison added 14 points and had five of UCLA’s 15 steals. The
Bruins overcame 25 turnovers, forcing 21 from the Jayhawks, and finished the
game with some tenacious defense, also capitalizing on some sloppy play from
The victory increased UCLA’s Final Four appearances to 17, tying North
Carolina for the most all-time in the NCAA Tournament. The Bruins now remain
on track to reach their second straight championship game after losing to
Florida last year. Next Saturday’s game in Atlanta could produce a rematch
against the Gators, if they can get by Oregon Sunday in the Midwest Regional
Brandon Rush had 18 points for the top-seeded Jayhawks (33-5), who failed in
their attempt to get back to the Final Four for the first time since 2003 when
they lost to Syracuse in the title game. Russell Robinson tallied 11 points
for Kansas, which had its 14-game winning streak broken.
UCLA has been a thorn in Kansas’ side in the NCAA Tournament, as the Bruins
have beaten the Jayhawks in all five of the meetings.
UCLA also came up with a big run at the end of the first half and benefited
with some clutch baskets to beat the shot clock on several occasions in the
final 20 minutes.