TAMPA, FL - MARCH 19: Reeves Nelson #22 of the UCLA Bruins drives for a shot attempt against Alex Tyus #23 of the Florida Gators during the third round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at St. Pete Times Forum on March 19, 2011 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

2011 NCAA Tournament: UCLA Ends Season With Loss To Florida

The Bruins have lost all three matchups with Florida, and all have been in the NCAA Tournament.

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2011 NCAA Tournament: UCLA Loses To Florida, 73-65

The No. 7 seed UCLA Bruins hung with the No. 2 seed Florida Gators for most of the game, but the Gators pulled away late for a 73-65 victory, advancing to the Sweet 16 in the 2011 NCAA Tournament. It was the third all-time meeting between the two schools, all in the NCAA tournament, with the Gators winning each time. Erving Walker led the Gators with 21 points.

Reeves Nelson led the Bruins with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Joshua Smith also scored 16 for UCLA, but was limited with four fouls. The Bruins shot 42.6% from the field, compared to 50% for the Gators. Florida will advance to play the winner of No. 3 BYU vs. No. 11 Gonzaga, which tips off at 4:45 p.m. PDT today.

For more UCLA Bruins hoops news and information, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Bruins Nation. For more information on Florida, be sure to read Alligator Army. For the full NCAA tournament bracket, click here.

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2011 NCAA Tournament: A View Of UCLA Vs. Florida From Both Sides

The UCLA Bruins' march through the NCAA Tournament bracket continues today with a Southeast Region matchup with the No. 2 seed Florida Gators. It is just the third all-time meeting between the two schools, with Florida winning the previous two matchups, in the 2006 and 2007 Final Fours. Today's 11:45 a.m. PDT game will be televised on CBS.

The folks at Bruins Nation think the Florida backcourt will be tough:

Onto the matchups, Florida may have the best backcourt UCLA has faced all year.  The tiny Erving Walker and Kenny Boynton dominated UCSB.  Assuming his knee is fine and not too swollen, Lee should be able to handle one of them (more likely Boynton) but that still leaves a difficult matchup  for UCLA against a good PG.  Jones has no excuse here as his legs are fine but Jones and Anderson will have to contain the quicker Walker.

For the second straight round, the Bruins face a team with a power forward who leads his team in both rebounds and assists. Senior Chandler Parsons will be a key battle for the Bruins. Parsons sees a similar team to the Gators in UCLA:

The thing about them is they're very similar to us if you look at their stats sheet. There's not one guy going off every game. They're very balanced so it's not like we can just shut down Josh Smith or Honeycutt. It's not just a couple guys. Any of their starting five are capable of going off at any time, so when you scout them, you're really just trying to limit their looks. And you know who the play is going through when the see the action, but you don't necessarily know who's going to get the ball or who's going to score because they're all very good players and they can all contribute in different ways.

For more UCLA Bruins hoops news and information, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Bruins Nation. For more information on Florida, be sure to read Alligator Army. For the full NCAA tournament bracket, click here.

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2011 NCAA Tournament: UCLA Vs. Florida Preview, Game Time, TV, Etc.

The third round of the NCAA Tournament is here, and the No. 7 seed UCLA Bruins are set to take on the No. 2 seed Florida Gators in the Southeast Region portion of the bracket. This is only the third all-time meeting between the two schools, and all have been in the NCAA Tournament. The Gators beat the Bruins in back-to-back Final Fours en route to two NCAA titles in 2006 and 2007. Here are the relevant details of today's game:

Combatants: UCLA (23-10, 13-5, second in the Pac-10 Conference); Florida (27-7, 13-3, first in the SEC East)

Date & Time: Today, 11:45 p.m. PDT

Location: St. Pete Times Forum, in Tampa, Florida

TV: CBS; Ian Eagle, Jim Spanarkel, and David Aldridge are on the call

What's at Stake: the winner advances to the Sweet 16 to play the winner of No. 3 BYU vs. No. 11 Gonzaga

Common Opponent: None this year

For more UCLA Bruins hoops news and information, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Bruins Nation. For more information on Florida, be sure to read Alligator Army. For the full NCAA tournament bracket, click here.

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2011 NCAA Tournament: UCLA Battles Florida Saturday On CBS

Now that their first...I mean second round of the 2011 NCAA Tournament is out of the way, the UCLA Bruins are set to face the Florida Gators on Saturday. The March Madness continues with a 11:45 a.m. PDT tip-off from the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa. The game will be televised on CBS, with Ian Eagle, Jim Spanarkel, and David Aldridge on the call.

The Bruins built a huge lead on Thursday against Michigan State, as many as 23 points in the second half, but nearly gave it all back after a furious rally by the Spartans. The Bruins held on for a two-point win, 78-76, the 100th NCAA Tournament win in school history for the Bruins. Florida dispatched the No. 15 seed UCSB Gauchos 79-51.

For more UCLA Bruins hoops news and information, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Bruins Nation. For more information on Florida, be sure to read Alligator Army. For the full NCAA tournament bracket, click here.

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2011 NCAA Tournament: UCLA Beats Michigan St., 78-76, Advances To Face Florida

The No. 7 seed UCLA Bruins built a huge lead, as many as 23 points in the second half, then held on to defeat the No.10 Michigan St. Spartans, 78-76, in the first round of the 2011 NCAA Tournament. The Bruins missed 17 of 47 free throws, which allowed the Spartans to make a furious comeback, but UCLA held on for the win. The Bruins will continue their march through the March Madness bracket, facing the No. 2 seed Florida Gators on Saturday in Tampa.

Reeves Nelson had a double-double for UCLA with 12 points and 10 rebounds, and Nelson was one of four Bruins to score in double figures. Tyler Honeycutt and Malcolm Lee had 16 points apiece for the Bruins, and Joshua Smith scored 14 for the Bruins. Draymond Green led the Spartans with 23 points.

UCLA led 42-24 at halftime.

For more UCLA Bruins hoops news and information, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Bruins Nation. For more information on Michigan St., be sure to read The Only Colors. For the full NCAA tournament bracket, click here.

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2011 NCAA Tournament, UCLA Vs. Michigan St.: Reeves Nelson Vs. Draymond Green Will Be A Key Battle

The first full day of the 2011 NCAA Tournament will end tonight with a pair of prime time games. In Tampa, the No. 7 UCLA Bruins will battle the No. 10 Michigan St. Spartans in one of the better on-paper matchups of the first round. A key matchup will be at power forward, where Reeves Nelson will battle Draymond Green. Green leads the Spartans in both rebounds and assists this season. Bruins Nation analyzed the battle at the four position:

Reeves and Green have a lot in common but there are differences.  Reeves is the better finisher and unlike Green mostly takes good shoots but obviously not as good outside or as a point forward (although occasionally he tries to be.)  That may be the key in this matchup.  Does Nelson play within himself as a 4 and bring it on defense?  In the mirror opposite does Green take bad shots or disappear on offense?  This matchup may be the most even.   However, Reeves has been awesome in a number of big games and tonight would obviously be the best time to bring it.

In addition, the SB Nation Michigan St. blog also sees Green as a key to the game, especially on offense for the Spartans:

The keys for MSU will be to attack the basket decisively but not predictably and to crash the offensive glass relentlessly.  Kalin Lucas may need to look to pass a little more than he has been when he drives, and Draymond Green will likely  look to pull his man outside and then go to the hoop, as well, since he'll face a height mismatch against the UCLA forwards in the post.  In addition to playing good defense on Smith, Adreian Payne and Derrick Nix (who lead the team in offensive rebounding percentage) will need to play with energy around the basket and give the team a few second-chance buckets.

Tonight's 6:20 p.m. PST tip-off can be seen on TBS.

For more UCLA Bruins hoops news and information, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Bruins Nation. For more information on Michigan St., be sure to read The Only Colors. For the full NCAA tournament bracket, click here.

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UCLA Basketball: Bruins Underdogs Against Michigan St. In NCAA Tournament First Round

The 2011 NCAA Tournament has arrived for the UCLA Bruins, and their March Madness journey begins with a clash against the Michigan St. Spartans. The two schools play at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Florida tonight, with a 6:20 p.m. PST tip-off on TBS. But what is the likelihood that the No. 7 seed Bruins will advance in their Southeast Regional bracket?

For one, the Bruins are underdogs tonight against the Spartans, by a point to a point and a half, by our friends in Vegas. UCLA leads the all-time series with Michigan St. 5-2, but the two schools haven't played since 2007. At the New York Times, Nate Silver is even less enthused with the Bruins' chances, giving them just a 33.3% chance to win tonight. Silver gives UCLA a 7.7% chance to advance to the Sweet 16.

For more UCLA Bruins hoops news and information, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Bruins Nation. For more information on Michigan St., be sure to read The Only Colors. For the full NCAA tournament bracket, click here.

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2011 NCAA Tournament: UCLA Vs. Michigan St. Preview, Game Time, Starting Lineups, Etc.

The UCLA Bruins open their 2011 NCAA Tournament tonight with a marquee matchup with the Michigan St. Spartans in a Southeast Region matchup at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Florida. The No. 7 seed Bruins are 5-2 all-time against the No. 10 seed Spartans, though they have never met in the NCAA Tournament. UCLA won the last meeting between the two schools, beating Michigan St. 68-63 on November 20, 2007 in the CBE Classic in Kansas City.

This is the 44th NCAA Tournament appearance for UCLA, the second most all-time, and the Bruins are 32-11 in their first game. Michigan St. is making its 25th NCAA tourney appearance, and the Spartans are 19-5 in their first game of the tournament. The Spartans have made 14 straight NCAA appearances, behind only Kansas (22) and Duke (16) for longest active streak.

Tonight's game is expected to tip-off at 6:20 p.m. PST, and will be televised on TBS. Ian Eagle, Jim Spanarkel, and David Aldridge will call the game. The winner of this game will move on to face the winner of the No. 2 Florida vs. No. 15 UCSB matchup. Here are tonight's probable starting lineups:

Michigan St. (19-14)

UCLA (22-10)

For more UCLA Bruins hoops news and information, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Bruins Nation. For more information on Michigan St., be sure to read The Only Colors. For the full NCAA tournament bracket, click here.

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2011 NCAA Tournament: UCLA Vs. Michigan State Preview

The 2011 NCAA Tournament is here, and the UCLA Bruins have rejoined the bracket after a year away. UCLA earned a No. 7 seed in the Southeast Region, and will battle with the No. 10 seed Michigan St. Spartans on Thursday night. Here are the relevant details of that first round matchup:

Combatants: UCLA (22-10, 13-5, second in the Pac-10 Conference); Michigan St. (19-14, 9-9, fourth in the Big Ten Conference); UCLA is 5-2 all-time against the Spartans, and this is their first-ever meeting in the NCAA Tournament.

Date & Time: Thursday, March 17, 2011, 6:20 p.m. PST

Location: St. Pete Times Forum, in Tampa, Florida

TV: TBS; Ian Eagle, Jim Spanarkel, and David Aldridge are on the call

What's at Stake: the winner advances to the second round to play the winner of No. 2 Florida vs. No. 15 UCSB

Common Opponent: Michigan St. beat Washington 76-71 on November 24; UCLA lost both meetings with the Huskies this season.

For more UCLA Bruins hoops news and information, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Bruins Nation. For more information on Michigan St., be sure to read The Only Colors. For the full NCAA tournament bracket, click here.

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