The Bruins played quite possibly their best game of the season and they couldn't have picked a better time to hit the floor on all cylinders. After the prerequisite slow star UCLA picked it up and did what was necessary for UCLA to claim their first Pac 10 title since 1996-97. What makes it sweeter still is all the adversity this team went through to get to this point.
UCLA's problems with injuries has been well chronicled and that this team gutted out whatever was thrown their way gives the Bruins basketball program a sense of pride that it hasn't been able to claim for sometime.
It was a job well done by Ben Howland and his staff keeping it all together when it could have easily fallen apart.
This game against Stanford looked like once again UCLA was going to start off slow. Both teams started the game with a flurry of turnovers then the Cardinal went on a 5-0 run and then the roof basically fell in on them. The Bruins quickly kicked it in high gear led by their brilliant point guard Jordan Farmar.
Farmar started the ball rolling with a three pointer and then another quick basket to tie the score at five.
In total there were four Bruins in double figures but perhaps the most telling statistic of the game for UCLA was they only turned the ball over five times and most of them were in the opening moments of the game.
Afflalo had a game high of 16 points and he seems to be back on track as a shooter.
Farmar was terrific running the floor for the Bruins dishing out a game high seven assists and didn't turn the ball over once. He also added 13 points, including the tone setting first five points.
Senior center Ryan Hollins had one, if not his best game of the season chipping in 13 points and eight rebounds.
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute once again played like the best frosh in the Pac 10 as he tallied a game high nine rebounds and was the fourth Bruin in double figures with 12 points.
The Bruins are the undisputed Pac 10 champs and they accomplished this feat as a very young team, but it would be remiss not to mention the contribution of seniors, Hollins and Cedric Bozeman.
Both players played large this season and of course like many Bruins missed action due to injuries.
The youngsters grew up quickly. All five freshmen that the Bruins signed out of the class of 2005 made their presence known.
Roll has had some bright moments this season and he was very instrumental in this victory hitting three, threes for nine points. All three shots came during clutch situations.
True frosh Darren Collison contributed six points and an assist. His assist was a thing of absolute beauty and great court awareness.
The 2005-06 UCLA Bruins (24-6 overall/Pac-10 14-4, 1st-place) are a team that will take their place among other great teams, but this one is special due to their toughness and will to win.
No matter what was thrown in UCLA's way, this team battled tooth and nail. This team would not be denied and in the end they bring great pride to UCLA and their fans.