04/01/2006

The 45 points scored by Louisiana State is their fewest in 45 tournament games.  Their previous low was 48 against Wisconsin in the 2000 Sweet Sixteen.

The 45 points scored by Louisiana State is the fewest that UCLA has allowed in 16 national semifinal games.  Their previous low allowed was 58 against Houston in 1967.

For the third time in 4 years, a #2 seed will face a #3 seed in the championship game.  #2 seeds are 3-2 vs. #3 seeds in the title game.  #2 seeds are 29-17 vs. #3 seeds overall.

UCLA allowed an average of 52.8 points in the first 5 games.  Out of teams that have advanced to the championship game in the shot-clock era (since 1986), only Michigan State (52.4) has allowed fewer points.

UCLA is making their record 13th championship game appearance.  They are 11-1 in the National Championship Game.  UCLA's only loss was in their only other final four played in Indianapolis.  Florida's 2000 championship game loss was also played in Indianapolis.

UCLA's apperance in the championship game is the Pacific Ten Conference's first since 2001 when Arizona was in the title game.  It is the 20th appearance by the Pac 10 in the championship game.  Here are the number of appearances:

Team Championship Games
UCLA 13
California 2
Arizona 2
Oregon 1
Stanford 1
Washington State 1

This will be the third time that UCLA has played an SEC team in the championship game.  They defeated Kentucky 92-85 in 1975 and Arkansas 89-78 in 1995.

UCLA is now 6-1 vs. the SEC in the tournament.  Florida has never faced a Pac 10 team in the NCAA Tournament.

Louisiana State is now 0-4 in National Semifinal games.  All 4 losses have been by double digits.

UCLA is in a championship game for the 5th consecutive decade.  The longest current string of decades with a title game appearance are:
North Carolina - 7
Duke - 5
UCLA - 5
Kansas - 3
Syracuse - 3
Arizona - 2
Connecticut - 2

UCLA becomes the 6th school to play in the championship game in at least 5 different decades.  North Carolina has played in 7 different decades.  Duke, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky and UCLA have played in the championship game in 5 different decades.

The last 3 national champions have beaten a team from the same conference in both the semifinals and championship games.  UCLA will attempt to become the fourth consecutive team to accomplish this.

2005: North Carolina defeated Michigan State and Illinois
2004: Connecticut defeated Duke and Georgia Tech
2003: Syracuse defeated Texas and Kansas

Only two other schools had accomplished this before 2003:
1992: Duke defeated Indiana and Michigan
1990: Nevada-Las Vegas defeated Georgia Tech and Duke

For the 5th straight year, one of the teams in the championship game will be seeking their first NCAA Championship.
Year Team Result
2002 Maryland Win
2003 Syracuse Win
2004 Georgia Tech Loss
2005 Illinois Loss
2006 Florida ????

Florida will be in the championship game for the second time in school history.  Their only other appearance was in 2000 when they lost to Michigan State 89-76.

Florida allowed an average of 56.6 points in their first 5 tournament games.  Out of teams that have advanced to the championship game in the shot-clock era (since 1986), only Michigan State in 2000 (52.4) and UCLA this year (see above) allowed fewer points.

Florida's apperance in the championship game is the Southeastern Conference's first since 2000 When Florida was in the title game.  It is the 14th appearance by the SEC in the championship game.  Here are the number of appearances:

Team Championship Games
Kentucky 10
Arkansas 2
Florida 2

Coming into today's games, all four coaches have an NCAA Tournament winning percentage of .667.

Billy Donovan 14-7
Ben Howland 8-4
John Brady 6-3
Jim Larranaga 4-2