My keys to UCLA/Florida

    
March 31st, 2007

Game two's about to tip off, so here are my three keys to the matchup between the Bruins and Gators. The winner gets Ohio Sate on Monday night.

1. Arron Afflalo vs. Corey Brewer. Afflalo is a more balanced player than he was when these two met last year, but it will be how well he performs on the offensive end that tells the tale in this one. At 6'9 Brewer is one of the longest perimeter defenders in the game, and he has no problem matching up wiht a multitude of players regardless of their position. What could help out Afflalo and the Bruins is the fact that they have a healthy Josh Shipp at their disposal this time around.

2. How UCLA defends Al Horford, Joakim Noah and Chris Richard inside. The Bruins have some depth inside with the likes of Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Lorenzo Mata and Alfred Aboya. I'm not expecting much from Ryan Wright, although we could see him if the Bruins encounter foul trouble. Like the first game, how the officials call the action will have a big impact on how well the Bruins do with this task.

3. Lee Humphrey and Mbah a Moute. These two will not face each other during the game, but they both hold the key to their team's success. When Humphrey is on, the Gators are nearly impossible to beat. During their cold stretch after winning the SEC regular season crown, Humphrey was off the mark from behind the arc. As for Mbah a Moute, who has been torubled by knee tendinitis all season, a return to his form during the 2006 Tournament would be a big help for the Bruins.

The game has just tipped off with the teams tied at 2 in the early going. Enjoy.

P.S.: Two quick fouls on Afflalo, he heads to the bench.