UCLA is headed for the NCAA basketball tournament’s
Crosstown rival USC missed it by four points.
The Bruins — powered by 19 points and nine assists by freshman
sensation Lonzo Ball — shook off a slow start to pull away from the University
of Cincinnati in the second half, en route to a 79-67 win tonight in the second
round of the tournament, commonly referred to as March Madness.
The victory in Sacramento over the determined sixth-seeded Bearcats, who
finished the season 30-6, sends third-seeded UCLA (31-4) to the NCAA’s South
Regional finals in Memphis, where they will play second-seeded Kentucky on
This is UCLA’s third trip in four seasons to the Sweet 16 under head
coach Steve Alford.
USC — attempting to be the fourth team to make the Sweet 16 after
winning a play-in game in the 68-team tournament — took things to the wire in
a hard-fought 82-78 East Regional loss to third-seeded Baylor in Tulsa,
The 11th-seeded Trojans (26-10), who under head coach Andy Enfield set a
USC season record for wins, had rallied for victories in their first two post-
season games against Providence and SMU and almost did it again tonight against
USC was nursing a 67-65 lead with 4 minutes, 40 seconds left in the
game, until a rare four-point play by Baylor guard Manu Lecomte gave the Bears
a 69-67 lead they maintained to the end.
Lecomte, a Belgium native held in check for most of the contest, poured
in eight points in a 45-second span that helped fuel the Bears winning finish.
Trojan big man Chimezie Metu tossed in 28 points in a superb effort.
Bennie Boatwright tallied 16 for USC, attempting to make the Sweet 16 for the
first time in 10 seasons.
City News Service