Don’t let the whimsical nature of the basketball gods detract from the heroic effort the Mick Cronin-led Bruins displayed against Gonzaga in the NCAA Sweet 16 game. It was one for the ages. Resilience against adversity was on display with every possession.
This noble performance deserves to be placed alongside the best in the legendary Bruins basketball pantheon… Julian Strawther’s 32-foot dagger notwithstanding.
As usual, Bill Plaschke resorts to hyperbole in his commentary on UCLA’s performance against Gonzaga, writing, “A brilliant effort turned into a smoking ruin full of bricks, poor defense and regrets.” While Mark Few made some positive adjustments at half time, Mick Cronin’s excellent game plan fell victim to the fatigue that was so evident in the Bruin players in the second half, leading to a barrage of short shots and balls. loose in the direction of the Zags. .
UCLA’s true character was illustrated by taking a last-minute lead after trailing by 10 points just two minutes earlier. Of course, for the third time, a long-range dagger decided a UCLA-Gonzaga contest.
Bill Plaschke was right about one thing about UCLA-Gonzaga, and that was that UCLA shot early and erratically in the second half. Plaschke winked at the effect of injuries on the team. No excuses, but the rotation was thinner and the main players were gassed, so the shots were short and the fumbles went the other way. We will surely miss this cast of seniors and thank you for a great season and good luck to everyone in your future!
Scott W. Hamre
I was raised to be a Bruins fan. I remember when no one could handle the full-court press at UCLA. Now teams know how to prepare for it. Still, with 12.2 seconds left, I’m yelling, “push the whole court,” make Gonzaga waste precious seconds. But not! Instead, they were allowed to get the ball up as quickly as possible to set up a game coach. Few said they practice all the time.
Coach Cronin is the best thing to happen to the Bruins since Coach Wooden. Please, Coach, explain your 12-second strategy to us. He expected at least one wild and desperate shot.
Congratulations to the Bruins on an exciting great year.
Once again, this classic NCAA basketball rivalry came down to the final seconds of an absolutely thrilling game. UCLA players shouldn’t put their heads down as they had a great season, a Bruins team that played with grit, determination and heart, faced some adversity along the way and yet persevered without two of their starters in the lineup. what turned out to be the last game of the season for UCLA. But please, Coach Cronin, if these two opponents ever meet in a future tournament game and it comes down to an opposition final shot, be sure to triple any player with the initials “JS.”