- Friday, March 20 1998 -
NCAA South Regional Semifinals (at St. Petersburg, FL)
Kentucky - 94 (Head Coach: Orlando Smith) - [Final Rank 5th by AP]
UCLA - 68 (Head Coach: Steve Lavin) - [Final Rank 19th by AP]
Halftime Score: Kentucky 40, UCLA 23
|Prior Game|||||Next Game|
|St. Louis 88 - 61|||||Duke 86 - 84|
Game Writeup - Courtesy of Dr. Jeffrey Neil Burch; Dr. J's UK Newsletter, Vol. 7 No. 29. (All Rights Reserved)
The CBS "Kentucky Shuffle" Strikes Again:
Kentucky clobbered the UCLA Bruins 94-68 in an NCAA South Regional semifinal game. UK was the 2nd seed in the South (and was ranked #5 by AP for the game), with UCLA the #6 seed (ranked #19 by AP). And as it did for the 1993 Kentucky run through the NCAA Tournament, CBS switched to other games when the Wildcat lead became embarrassingly large.
Kentucky ripped out to an 11-3 lead, at which pt CBS cut away to show the start of the Rhode Island-Valparaiso game [JNB note - in Atlanta, anyway]. By the time they came back, UK was up 16-5 and had already garnered 6 blocked shots. Following an Anthony 16 footer, it was 20-5 Kentucky. After a Watson tipin, and Johnson inside layup, Mohammed made a pair of FTs to make it 22-9 by the TV timeout. A Mohammed bank shot was followed by Watson FTs, then a Sheppard 15 footer. A Henderson putback made it 26-13, and UCLA actually closed to within 7 at 28-21 following a Johnson 3. But the Cats surged out to a 36-21 edge before UCLA scored again (thanks to a Mohammed layup, Evans FT tosses, Padgett FTs, and a Turner steal and layup). Henderson finally made a fadeaway shot (the Bruins were becoming block conscious by this time), but the Cats went up 40-23 at the break on an Evans putback. Toby Bailey of UCLA was 0-7 from the floor during the 1st half, with no pts. The 23 pts scored were the lowest of the season at halftime for the Bruins, who had shot a miserable 26% (on 9-35 FG shooting) and had 14 turnovers compared to 4 for the Wildcats.
Toby Bailey earned his 1st pts of the game in the 2nd half, hitting 2 FT attempts, and teammate Reed added 3 more over a couple of possessions. Mohammed hit 1 FT and Turner made a high banking shot, to make it 43-30 UK. The Cats scored the next 7 pts, and with UK leading 50-30, UCLA called a 20 second timeout to regroup, and CBS decided to switch to the Rhode Island- Valparaiso game. Picking up the action on the UK Radio Network, Edwards had a dunk, and Sheppard made a layup to go up 54-32. Moments later, Magloire hit 1 and Padgett hit 2 FTs, and the Wildcats led 61-36. Bailey made a couple of shots to give UCLA a small run and close the gap to 63-42, but Bradley had a putback, Padgett made a layup, and UK was suddenly back to a 65-42 edge. Johnson and Anthony exchanged 3s, Padgett completed an old-fashioned 3, and an Edwards layup were matched only by a Bailey FT, and Kentucky was up 75-46. Minutes later, a Watson jumper closed the gap to 77-51 at the next TV timeout. Shots by Sheppard and Mohammed combined to give UK an 88-57 edge, and when Hogan hit a 3 shortly afterwards, the Cats led by 91-59, their largest margin of the game. Hogan hit another 3 moments later to make it 94-62, and the Cats basically ran out the clock, allowing UCLA to close somewhat to the final margin of 94-68.
Five Wildcat players scored in double figures, but the Cats were outrebounded by a much smaller team. The 26 pt loss was the 2nd worst in UCLA postseason play, surpassed only by a 27 pt defeat at the hands of Indiana in the 1992 Tournament. The 14 blocks by Kentucky against the Bruins was a South Regional record. This was the 10th straight game where the Wildcats held their opponents to less than 40% FG shooting (the 29.1% FG shooting by the Bruins was their worst of the season).
Mohammed's 6 blocks were his career high for a game. Up to the UCLA game, Kentucky's opponents in the NCAA Tournament had attempted 193 FGs. UK has blocked 34 of these (1 in every 5.6 shots).
Nazr Mohammed blocks the shot of UCLA's J.R. Henderson
Jeff Sheppard (#15) shoots while defended by Rico Hines (#22)
...and again, this time over Earl Watson (#25)