VIDEO: Alford on UCLA's Draw

UCLA head coach Steve Alford talks about the matchup with Tulsa in the first round and what it means to get in the San Diego pod as a 4th seed...

Steve Alford:

On facing Tulsa in the first round:
Danny (Manning) has been around winning, both as a player and as a coach, his whole life. And now he's taken over the Tulsa program and he's just done a tremendous job. Other than Stephen F. Austin and Wichita [State], they're probably the hottest team in the country. They've won 11 in a row. They've played against the likes of Wichita [State] and Creighton in the non-conference. I know they're very well-coached and they will be ready for us.

On playing in San Diego this weekend:
It's good for us, for at least a couple of reasons. One, we are in finals. Our guys have had to go to the conference tournament on Wednesday, and they've been gone all week leading into finals. Finals are Monday and Tuesday. Had we played on a Thursday and had to travel to Buffalo or wherever, it would have been really demanding on our guys from an academic standpoint. Now, playing on a Friday, after playing three games in three days, we were able to give our guys off today, have Monday off, and they can really concentrate on finishing finals. We'll meet them at 3 o'clock on Tuesday once finals are over, so that's just a huge positive.

On the South Region:
That's what is neat about March Madness now. You look at any bracket, and it's hard. It's one game. You've got to take one game at a time. You try to survive and advance. Being in San Diego, you've got guys like Norman [Powell] who is from San Diego. You've got guys like the Wears being from Orange County. We've got some local guys. And then with our fans, our fans will be able to get there. It's an exciting time for us. We've made a really good push in the last two weeks. I feel like we have been playing our best basketball, and you want to be playing your best basketball in March. We feel very good going into the tournament, but with that being said, you've got to play well, you've got to make shots, you've got to defend. If there is any indication from what happened this weekend, I think that our guys are ready for it.

On if they're happy with the seeds:
I don't know where we were, if you are talking seeding, from a seed standpoint. But to be one of the top four seeds in this region, that's important for our first year and building a foundation and winning a Pac-12 Championship and getting one of the top four seeds. And then being able to play fairly local, that's a great opportunity and now we have got to make the most of it.

On if the win over Arizona helped the seed:
I have no idea. I don't know if it was enhanced. Arizona was a one [seed] going into the tournament, and they lost in the championship game. That wasn't going to affect them. With regard to Oregon, Stanford, Arizona State, ourselves, I have no idea, Colorado, where they had us. I have no idea where they had us, but that had to have enhanced our resume.


Bruin Report Online Top Stories