Bragging Rights Bracket: West Regional Final



by Micah Hart

For the complete Bragging Rights rules and to vote for other matchups, click here. Our final matchup in the Elite Eight pits a football school trying to make its mark on the hardcourt against the most tradition-rich program in college basketball.

VS

Texas Longhorns

Starters (all stats per 48 minutes, through 3/28):

LaMarcus Aldridge, Trail Blazers: 26.4 points, 10.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.4 blocks, 1.2 steals
D.J. Augustin, Bobcats: 20.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 8.4 assists, 0.1 blocks, 0.8 steals
Kevin Durant, Thunder: 34.0 points, 8.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.2 blocks, 1.4 steals
T.J. Ford, Pacers: 14.1 points, 4.9 rebounds, 8.8 assists, 0.5 blocks, 2.0 steals
Maurice Evans, Wizards: 13.9 points, 4.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.4 blocks, 1.0 steals

Missed the cut: Damion James, Nets; Daniel Gibson, Cavaliers; Royal Ivey, Thunder; Dexter Pittman, Heat; Avery Bradley, Celtics

How they got here: Wasted little energy in dispatched Washington, moving to the Elite Eight by the largest voting margin so far, a 92%-8% finale.

Team synopsis: A real title contender, with both Durant and Aldridge providing matchup problems for just about any potential opponent. Augustin is also having a breakout season in Charlotte. Ford is somewhat redundant with Augustin on the floor, but his track record is a little better than rookie Damion James. Not a lot of bulk, but trying to keep LA and the Durantula from racking up points is going to be hard for any opponent.

UCLA Bruins

Starters (all stats per 48 minutes, through 3/28):

Russell Westbrook, Thunder: 30.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, 11.4 assists, 0.5 blocks, 2.5 steals
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Bucks: 12.0 points, 9.9 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 0.7 blocks, 1.7 steals
Kevin Love, Timberwolves: 27.2 points, 20.6 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 0.5 blocks, 0.8 steals
Baron Davis, Cavaliers: 21.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, 11.1 assists, 0.9 blocks, 2.3 steals
Jrue Holiday, Sixers: 18.8 points, 5.5 rebounds, 8.5 assists, 0.5 blocks, 2.0 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

How they got here: Took a surprisingly easy victory over the Kansas Jayhawks, advancing by a final of 85%-15%.

Team synopsis: As the school with the most current players in the NBA, UCLA 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 (Durant). Love could be out for the rest of the season, but with no official word yet from Minnesota, he still gets to play here.

All Ball’s take: Neither team has a ton of size overall, but the Bruin guards will have a size advantage over their Longhorn counterparts. Baron is a skilled post player for a guard, and he shouldn’t have any trouble backing down Ford or Augustin. I imagine Texas would have to put Evans on Westbrook, leaving Holiday with a mismatch against whoever guards him as well. On the other hand, Texas has advantages in the paint and on the perimeter. Love is a rebounding machine and an excellent marksman, but he’ll have trouble with Aldridge’s length, especially on defense. Mbah a Moute, a terrific defender for Milwaukee, will probably draw the assignment of trying to slow Durant. With his length, he may have as good a chance as anyone in the bracket.

In the end, the game should come down to which team can maximize its advantage the most — UCLA with its guards, or Texas with Durant and Aldridge.

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20 Comments

  1. Your Mom says:

    where did marquette go?

  2. Chris says:

    Why is Daniel Gibson not on Texas’ lineup. He averages 12 a game. Maurice Evans only averages 6!!! If Texas loses, which they shouldn’t, it will be because nba.com didn’t give them their best line up.

    • Danny says:

      @Chris

      Bro UCLA beats Texas. This is how i’d rank the players:

      1. Kevin Durant – Texas
      2. Kevin Love – Ucla
      3. Russell Westbrook – U
      4. Lamarcus Aldridge – T
      5. Jrue Holiday – U
      6. DJ Agustin – T
      7. Baron Davis – U
      8. TJ Ford – T
      9. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute – U
      10. Maurice Evans – T

      UCLA: 2, 3, 5, 7, 9 = 28
      Texas: 1, 4, 6, 8, 10 = 29

      UCLA wins.

  3. rohan789 says:

    right chris. anyway i want ucla to win .

  4. john says:

    Texas is going to win!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. jeremy says:

    What a joke… UCLA obviously has a better team here. This isn’t even close and yet Texas is still winning. Just shows how many idiots that don’t watch basketball vote on these things just based on the fact that KD went to Texas. It’s a good thing the real NBA isn’t decided like this. Otherwise the Heat would be undefeated. Watch the games, people. That UCLA team is stacked and didn’t even include Barnes, Collison, Kapono, or Ariza!

  6. australia says:

    they are both good teams, but nobody can stop KD on ucla. On the other hand ucla have the better guards…

  7. Victaa says:

    UCLA has got Mbah a Moute and Holiday to hound Durant and Augustin on defense, Love to do the inside work against Aldridge, and B. Davis to make some plays. And then you have TJ Ford and Maurice Evans trying to make stuff happen for Texas.
    UCLA in this one.

  8. chris says:

    this wouldnt even be fair….UCLA’s players that didnt even make the cut are better then the scrubs like augustin evans and ford in Texas’s starting line-up…c’mon now.

  9. Clark says:

    Aldridge would destroy love in the paint, KD would light up the whole team, and Augustin can hold his own against westbrook. KD and Aldridge carry Texs over UCLA

  10. Atom says:

    Wow, look at the margin. 0.16% LOL

  11. NDub says:

    Texas, no one can check Durant and Augustine’s clutch. Nevertheless Westbrook is the best point gaurd mentioned. However, the win would be determined on Aldridge and Love, the face off of bigs. Which Aldridge is better.

  12. MatthewG says:

    This is a pretty good match-up, but I think Texas has the upper hand because of Durant and Aldridge. KD is an All-Star and the league’s scoring leader. LA is having an All-Star season and should have gone to the All-Star game if fans didn’t waste their votes on Yao Ming. Kevin Love is awesome and is also having an great season. I think this one will come down to the wire, but Texas will move on to the Final Four.

  13. wow says:

    can u believe that a .o2 percet diference

  14. Gordon says:

    Look at the deep of the bench… UCLA easily outscores Texas in both starters and bench deeps… that is no way Texas can beat this UCLA team!~

  15. Sam says:

    Texas has got this!

  16. Allan says:

    wath the hell i missed this! How did Texas win this? anyway UCLA wins this all the way

  17. LFamily2010 says:

    I don’t know. Texas’s backcourt would get demolished by UCLA’s. Neither Ford or Augustine have the size to guard Westbrook. Durant and Aldridge do their thing, obviously. But I’m surprised by this one. Texas is a 2-man team. UCLA is solid — Westbrook will be at the rim any time he wants, and the same is true of Holiday. Love will feast with open shots and offensive rebounds. I think UCLA wins by 10.

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