UCLA vs. Portland - Game Preview
By Bruin Basketball Report
After dropping its opener against Cal State Fullerton, UCLA (2-1) tries to build upon two straight wins when it begins play tonight in the 76 Classic tournament in Anaheim against the Portland Pilots (3-0) at approximately 8:00 PM. The game will be televised on ESPN2.
The 76 Tournament fields, many consider, one of the toughest early season line-ups.
The field includes eight teams: Butler, Clemson, Long Beach State, Minnesota, Portland, Texas A&M, UCLA and West Virginia.
Seven of the eight teams reached the postseason in 2008-09, including six in the NCAA Tournament: UCLA and Texas A&M advanced to the second round, while Butler, Clemson, Minnesota and West Virginia were also in the field.
No eight-team, regular-season tournament has ever had more than seven postseason teams from the previous year. Each team will compete in one game per day, advancing through a bracket-tournament format.
The two teams that remain undefeated throughout the 76 tournament will face off in a championship match Sunday, Nov. 29
The Bruins recorded a 19-point victory over Pepperdine on Monday with easily their best performance of the young season. Sophomore center Drew Gordon scored 18 points and grabbed 9 rebounds and senior Michael Roll added 17 in the win.
Point guard Jerime Anderson, who suffered severe leg cramps during the contest, was still sore the following day but is expected to play tonight.
Senior forward Nikola Dragovic was reinstated yesterday and will come off the bench to give UCLA some additional offensive firepower.
Portland is a veteran squad and shoots well from beyond the arc at over a 54% clip this season.
This is just the fourth meeting between the
Portland Pilots and UCLA with the Bruins winning
all three previous meetings in Pauley Pavilion. The last time the two teams met was in 2002.