BRENDON D. MILLER – Camen Media – March 19, 2015 – LOUISVILLE
The most storied program in NCAA history took a never-say-die thriller over Larry Brown’s 6th
seeded SMU Mustangs in the second game of today’s South regional second round in the Louisville Pod.
11 seed UCLA led 34 to 30 after a fast-paced first half in which UCLA shot 48% from the field and 50% (5
of 10) from the three point line, setting up a wild second half. The second half was a half of runs, with
UCLA opening the half with a 6 to 0 run to lead 40 to 30 at the 14:54 mark and 44 to 34 at 12:56. SMU,
led by point guard Nic Moore, then went on an astounding 19-0 run over the next 8 minutes to lead 53
to 44 with 4:34. SMU led 55 to 49 with 3:12 to go and 59 to 52 with 1:25 left when UCLA went on the
last run of the game. UCLA’s 8 to 0 run to close the game took the Bruins into the third round to face 14
seed UAB who had upset Iowa State in the first game of the session.
UCLA was led by a pure shooting display by Brice Alford, son of coach Steve Alford, who had all
27 of his points on three pointers in a potent 9 for 11 performance, which were almost exclusively taken
with a hand in his face. Alford’s final three pointer, taken with :13 seconds left, was the decider as it
was ruled to be goal tended by SMU’s Yanick Moreira. To say the least a goal tending call on a three
pointer with the game on the line was controversial. Larry Brown stated that he had never seen a game
end in such a way, and Moreira broke down in the post-game press conference after the game stating,
“It’s all my fault.” Such is the impact and finality of the lose-and-go-home big dance. The replays seem
to show the call was correct, but a heart-breaking way for competitive game to end. SMU was led by Nic
Moore with 24 points, and Markus Kennedy with 16. Norman Powell added 19 for the victorious Bruins.