UCLA gets punched out by thuggish Villanova 89-69, providing a not-so-happy ending to the Bruins’ 3-year streak of Final Four appearances

When did Villanova get a Football team?

The Wildcats’ Round 2 assignment was to tackle the Bruins from Westwood, and tackle them is just what they did.  Every time the Bruins went to the hoop, a brutish Villanova player would just lunge at him, and take him down to the hardwood.  It didn’t take long before the Bruins were bruised, battered, and tired out, unable to compete against the 3rd-seeded team playing in their own part-time HOME arena, just minutes from their campus.

It’s not that the Bruins were the better team — Villanova seemed to have more talent on the floor, and more tenacity on Defense — but they weren’t 20 points better than the Bruins.  On a truly neutral court, with flagrant fouls being called as appropriate, the Bruins MIGHT have had a chance at the upset.

Of course, ever since Darren Collison got knocked on his tailbone a few weeks ago, he and his team have just not been the same.  Unfortunately, while some teams are “peaking” right now, the Bruins were “valley-ing.”  Very unlike previous Ben Howland teams, the Bruins were playing their worst ball of the year, in mid-to-late March.

The only silver lining here is that Jrue Holiday, who has struggled to reach his potential lately, is now more likely to return for his Sophomore year, while sc’s Demar Derozan is looking more and more like a definite one-and-done.  With Holiday back and Derozan gone, and with the expected blossoming of Malcolm Lee for the Bruins, next season should be back to business-as-usual as far as The Rivalry is concerned.


And now, it’s up to the Spartans to beat the Cretins.



5 responses to “PUNCHO VILLA”

  1. Robert Avatar

    I hate to be negative, but the Bruins might be rebuilding for the next two years. I believe Ben Howland did a very poor job in preparing J’mison Morgan and in my opinion, he also should have played Malcom Lee and Jamere Anderson more. I just don’t see the Bruins as being competitive next year. I hate the trojans but I think they’re gonna be a force next year, specially with the big kid from Fairfax coming in, he’s going to give them a huge presence in the middle.

  2. yswenson Avatar

    You are so right. The refs. took us out of the game. They called us for ticky tacky fouls and Villanova got away with almost murder. Aboya went up for a basket late in the game with 2 guys hammering him, he missed the basket and virtually was thrown to the floor and there was no call. Aboya looked at the refs. like he couldn’t believe what just happened to him. The whole game was like that. So was to an extent the Washington game. I really feel that the Pac-10 (so far) has been SCREWED by the zebras. Howland needs to get on the refs. when things are out of control. He is too complacent and just stands there.Timmith gets on the refs. hard and sc keeps on rolling. Let’s hope that the trOJies meet their match today.

  3. Kacey Avatar

    Agreed. It was pretty ugly tackles. I lived in Philly for a few years and seems more like hockey than b-ball in some of the local sports…

    I guess we could have brought in a big def lineman to take some of those early hits! 🙂

  4. Kacey Avatar

    I hope you post a nice piece of our 3 superstar graduates

    Darren Collison, Josh Shipp and Alfred Aboya.

    They are awesome! I would love to see more players stay for 4 years! How great would that be for our UCLA Bruins!!!!!!!

    NCAA banners no, lifetime memories yes!!!!!

  5. Rick Avatar

    Re Robert:
    While I tend to agree that Howland appeared to do a very disappointing job with Morgan, and that Lee should have seen much more playing time, I think Anderson should have seen less–he clearly looked in over his head on a number of occasions, and has a long way to go before he should be running the team in tournament competition.
    1) The Bruins do not rebuild, they reload–and another stellar class is on its way; it is positively unthinkable that they will not be competitive under Howland next (and every) year.
    2) The only thing the big kid from Fairfax is gonna give the trojans is a huge EGO, and another illiterate thug in the middle–if he were anything else, he’d be coming to Westwood, not to the Whiner.
    (Your prediction about the trojans, therefore, is only off by one letter: once again, they’re gonna be a farce next year).

    One more thing: since Howland doesn’t strike me as the kind of guy who will take the black eye Villanova gave him lying down, chin up, buddy–not only will the Bruins be back, they’ll be back with a vengeance.