Northwestern Wins: A College Hoops Blog

An ode to Verne Lundquist’s calls and everything college basketball

November 14: The Day After

Posted by Zach on November 14, 2008

I am extremely elated that UCLA won that game.

Not because I’m evil. Not because I always root for the powerhouse to crap on the little guy. Not because I’m a diehard Redhawks hater. I just really, really wanted to see this new-look Bruins team and their fabulous freshman, along with mainstays like Collison, Shipp and Roll, on the Garden floor in a possible final against Duke next week. No UCLA would have meant Duke likely plows their way through the semis and finals, and that’s simply no fun for a variety of reasons.

So I’m relieved. Very relieved.

What we learned last night: Miami (OH) is a team to be feared. No, they’re not overly athletic or multi-dimensional or immensely skilled, but they grind out possessions and play excellent defense under coach Charlie Coles. That’s why I was fearful taking the Bruins +15 even with the talent disparity. I just felt early in the season Miami would confuse the UCLA freshmen and slow the game down enough where it would be mildly close by the last minute. And that’s exactly what happened. Holiday only had 5 points in 15 minutes, Gordon had 2 points in 8 minutes, Lee had 2 points in 11 minutes and Morgan with 1.

Instead, the veterans led the way for the Bruins. James Keefe hit a crucial, more lucky-than-good three late in the second half, Michael Roll connected on a few crucial treys, Alfred Aboya hit a couple big free throws, Shipp went 6/14 for 16 points, while Darren Collison went 6/11 for 16 points, as well.  The team only shot 13/20 from the line, but most of those misses came early. They sunk most of the clutch free throws late.

Michael Bramos led the way for the Redhawks with 22 points. Congrats, now you get Pittsburgh!

Crisis averted. We’ll still have the premiere matchups at MSG- Southern Illinois vs. Duke and Michigan vs. UCLA with possible Duke-UCLA final late next week. Miami certainly gave us a scare, though.

NW Wins Horse Trailer of the Day- Darren Collison, UCLA: 36 mins, 6/11 FG, 4/4 FT, 16 points 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, 1 block

On the tube tonight: (all times ET)

  • Toledo @ Florida- 6pm, ESPNU
  • VMI @ Kentucky- 7pm, ESPN FC
  • Western Carolina @ Connecticut- 730pm, ESPN360
  • Florida A&M @ Kansas State- 8pm, ESPN FC
  • Stetson @ Texas- 8pm, ESPN FC
  • UT-San Antonio @ Oklahoma State- 8 pm, ESPN FC
  • American @ Oklahoma- 8pm, ESPN FC
  • Detroit @ Purdue- 9pm, ESPN360
  • Hofstra vs. Clemson- 9pm, CSS
  • St. Francis @ Texas Tech- 9pm, ESPN FC

Other games of note: Bucknell @ Maryland, Albany @ Villanova, Stanford @ Yale

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2 Responses to “November 14: The Day After”

  1. David said

    I knew Miami would give them a contest. Coles is a straight-up genius and he gets the most from his team. UCLA pulled it out, but the Redhawks showed the ESPNU world (all 3 TV markets that have ESPNU) that their style of basketball can confuse and frustrate even the best of teams. The MAC East(including my Buffalo Bulls) will be deep once again, but Miami could come out as MAC East, and more importantly, MAC champions.

    On the other side, I think this was the kind of game the UCLA freshmen needed. Playing a tough, scrappy, disciplined basketball team that pushes you to the limit in only your second game as a college basketball player can only help you develop faster. There’s no doubt that the Bruins will need them to produce a lot this seasonn if they want to reach the Final Four once again, and playing games like these will get them ready for conference play.

  2. Daniel said

    It was more a case of UCLA just being a very “new” team, trying to get a feel of all the new personnel in place. If the two teams played in February, UCLA would win by at least 25 points. So don’t read too much into this for Miami (OH), as this is basically the same roster that went 17-16 playing in the MAC last year. Don’t take that to mean that Miami (OH) isn’t a good mid-major program, but they won’t beat out Kent State this year.

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