Pac-12 Tournament 2013: Bold Predictions for UCLA-Oregon Final
The UCLA Bruins are looking to exact some revenge in the Pac-12 tournament final when they take on the Oregon Ducks for the conference's bragging rights.
UCLA got to the final after edging out Arizona by a field goal, while Oregon cruised past Utah to get to this point.
In the previous meeting between these two back in January, Oregon topped UCLA by nine points. You can throw that game out the window, however, as this final will be a whole new ballgame on a much bigger stage.
Let's take a look at some bold predictions for the Bruins versus Ducks Pac-12 final.
Shabazz Muhammad Will Drop 30
The Bruins come into this game without one of their best players after guard Jordan Adams injured his foot and is done for the season, per Jeff Goodman of CBSSports.com:
BREAKING: Jordan Adams told CBSSports he broke his right foot at end of the game. Done for season. Terrible news.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanCBS) March 16, 2013
Adams was the team's second-leading scorer with 15 points per game, and his 18 points in the second half of UCLA's win over Arizona was the biggest reasons why the Bruins got to the Pac-12 tourney final.
Muhammad is the team's leading scorer this season with 18.2 points per contest, but he only mustered up 11 points against the Wildcats in the semifinal game. It will take a far better effort against the Ducks if Muhammad and company hope to emerge victorious.
The UCLA star has yet to break the 30-point mark this season, but there's a first time for everything and what better time than now? There will be plenty of points to be had with Adams out of the lineup and this is the time for Muhammad to shine as a player who can put his team on his back and carry them to victory.
Arsalan Kazemi Will Grab 20 Boards
Kazemi is one of the premiere rebounders in the college game today and he will be hitting the boards hard in this game. The Oregon big man is averaging nearly a double-double with 9.5 points and 9.6 rebounds per game.
As far as some of his best rebounding performances this season goes, Kazemi has grabbed 15 rebounds or more in four separate games, with his best showing coming against California back in February when he had 18.
This game will see both teams get off to a slow start thanks to the overall pressure of the big stage and that will lead to plenty of missed shots. In turn, Kazemi will be all over the glass and he'll be the main beneficiary of the early misfiring.
When the dust settles, Kazemi will have a ridiculous amount of rebounds in this game and he'll have to make the most out of each one if his team is to stand a chance.
UCLA Will Crush Oregon
With or without Adams, the Bruins are a more talented team. Add in the fact that the Ducks beat the Bruins earlier in the year and you have a UCLA team that has a major chip on its shoulder.
Oregon hasn't exactly been playing great of late, despite the fact that they have made it to the final. The Ducks barely escaped past a lackluster Washington squad in overtime and before that, Oregon got smacked around by both Utah and Colorado.
UCLA will be the best team Oregon has played in this tourney thus far and it will be a rude awakening for a team that is not playing well right now. On top of that, pressure will be a huge factor that will make Oregon play even worse and that should lead to a poor showing on both sides of the floor.
Led by Muhammad, the shorthanded Bruins will scorch the Ducks en route to a rout-type victory for the Pac-12 tourney title.
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