West Regional Final

ucla.gif #1 UCLA Bruins vs. #3 Xavier Musketeersxavier.gif

6:40 pm, CBS

What UCLA must do

Get some help. the Bruins have had trouble getting its three fantastic perimeter players, Josh Shipp, Russell Westbrook and Darren Collison, on the same page. Collison was great against Texas A&M, but fouled out against Western Kentucky and only had four points in the process. Shipp and Westbrook rebounded from a poor first weekend, but UCLA is nearly unbeatable well all three of those guys are clicking.

What Xavier must do

Xavier must really attack Kevin Love inside. You saw how that game against West Virginia completely changed when the Mountaineers only inside threat, Joe Alexander, left the game. Love is UCLA only real inside threat, so if Josh Duncan and the other Musketeers can attack the heart and soul of this Bruin team, Xavier will be bound for San Antonio

Gamebreaker

Drew Lavender. If this little fella plays well, then Xavier is a much better team. He’s a leader on the court and when he’s knocking down three’s, the rest of his team seems to follow his lead. In the West Virginia game, Xavier was down by three and was really desperate for a bucket. Who came through? Drew Lavender. He hit a big three to tie the game and then B.J. Raymond followed his lead.

Region Winner

I’m changing my pick here. I think Xavier will win this one. This surprises me too, but I really think the Musketeers can pull it off. They have great guards on the perimeter who can really defend and I think that this teams aggressiveness can get Love in foul trouble. They are a resilient bunch who won’t go away because they can really shoot the three. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised though if this pick blows up on me and Xavier loses by 30.

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