Monday, April 03, 2006

UCLA Basketball Tradition

UCLA lost tonight to Florida in the NCAA Final Four Championship game. It was a strange game to watch... The Bruins were down most of the night and after holding LSU to just 45 points in the semis, Florida had their way on the court offensively.
Florida shouldn't have made it to the Final Four. Why? Because they are a FOOTBALL school and it was just weird watching them advance in each round. Oh well, they won it all, and congratulations to them and all of their players.

Let's make something clear... UCLA IS COLLEGE BASKETBALL. Florida is the champion this year and may not appear in the Final Four again for two or three decades. UCLA has won ELEVEN championships and has only lost twice in the final game (tonight unfortunately.)

UCLA Coach Ben Howland sounded professional tonight after the loss and was complimentary towards the Gators effort... and complimentary of his own team members. He also mentioned one of my heros and one of the greatest figures in college athletics - John Wooden... Coach Wooden went into the hospital today in Los Angeles.

Coach Wooden is 95 years old and I imagine he has lived what everyone would agree is a full life. His teams won TEN national championships and he coached some of the greatest basketball players of all time. More than great basketball players, he made them great men, and I have heard him say that the latter was more important to him.

If you want to renew your faith in college athletics read a book about John Wooden (check out He's the real deal and his ideas and life experience can still impart wisdom, even if he no longer paces a basketball court.

Best wishes coach.


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