Bragging Rights Bracket: No. 2 UCLA vs. No. 3 Kansas

by Micah Hart

For the complete Bragging Rights rules and to vote for other matchups, click here. We continue the Sweet 16 in the West region, where two towers of college basketball power square off for a chance to move on to the Elite Eight.


UCLA Bruins

Starters (all stats per 48 minutes):

Russell Westbrook, Thunder: 30.2 points, 6.3 rebounds, 11.5 assists, 0.5 blocks, 2.4 steals
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Bucks: 11.6 points, 10.0 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 0.7 blocks, 1.8 steals
Kevin Love, Timberwolves: 27.2 points, 20.6 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 0.5 blocks, 0.8 steals
Baron Davis, Cavaliers: 21.4 points, 4.7 rebounds, 11.1 assists, 0.8 blocks, 2.4 steals
Jrue Holiday, Sixers: 18.7 points, 5.5 rebounds, 8.6 assists, 0.5 blocks, 2.1 steals

Missed the cut: Matt Barnes, Lakers; Darren Collison, Pacers; Jordan Farmar, Nets; Dan Gadzuric, Nets; Ryan Hollins, Cavaliers; Jason Kapono, Sixers; Trevor Ariza, Hornets; Earl Watson, Jazz; Arron Afflalo, Nuggets

Team synopsis: As the school with the most current players in the NBA, the UCLA Bruins will be a tough out. Several different players could make the starting lineup, but I went with Mbah a Moute’s all-around contributions over those of rising studs like Collison and Afflalo. When Davis is nearly left out of the starting five, you know you’ve got some firepower to work with. Love’s per-48 rebounding stats are absurd, and Westbrook’s scoring is only a few ppg behind his scoring-champion teammate, Kevin Durant.

Kansas Jayhawks

Starters (all stats per 48 minutes):

Nick Collison, Thunder: 10.2 points, 9.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.0 blocks, 1.3 steals
Paul Pierce, Celtics: 25.7 points, 7.1 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 0.9 blocks, 1.4 steals
Darrell Arthur, Grizzlies: 22.0 points, 10.0 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.8 blocks, 1.5 steals
Kirk Hinrich, Hawks: 17.2 points, 4.2 rebounds, 6.4 assists, 0.3 blocks, 1.8 steals
Mario Chalmers, Heat: 13.9 points, 4.6 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 0.2 blocks, 2.4 steals

Missed the cut: Cole Aldrich, Thunder; Drew Gooden, Bucks (injured); Xavier Henry, Grizzlies; Darnell Jackson, Kings; Brandon Rush, Pacers; Julian Wright, Raptors

Team synopsis: For such college basketball royalty, the Jayhawks lack a lot of NBA star power. Pierce is really the only All-Star in the lineup, and Hinrich perhaps the only other legit starter (Chalmers has started a lot for Miami, but I doubt he’d start for most teams). On the plus side, Arthur’s per-48 numbers show serious production. Perhaps a permanent starting gig awaits him someday as well.

All Ball’s take: Kansas looks to be overmatched. The Jayhawks may have a chance to win a national title in this year’s NCAA tournament, but the Bruins seem likely to end their Bragging Rights quest in the Sweet 16.

Results: Not a happy weekend for Kansas fans, as UCLA takes this one in a rout, 85%-15%.

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  1. Rob says:

    I like Jrue Holiday, but you could make a case that Ariza/Afflalo/Collison are all better. I would actually go with Ariza on this team, since he’s a legit SF. Holiday is a PG, as is Westbrook/Davis, so that would be a smaller lineup. Holiday/Westbrook can play some SG, but a more conventional lineup would have Ariza in it.

    • Rob says:

      BTW, UCLA would rout Kansas in this matchup. Kansas is lacking firepower, besides Pierce. UCLA has a good amount of scorers, not to mention, the defend/rebound. This team would make Coach Wooden proud.

  2. Keith says:

    Darrell Arthur should definitely be starting for someone

  3. sam says:

    michael beasley?