NCAA Championships 2011 1st Round Analysis: UCLA vs. Binghamton

CALLING ALL BRUIN FANS! COME ONE, COME ALL! Well, folks, tomorrow is the day, as they say; tomorrow the NCAA officially starts (for real, this time) as we will face the Binghamton Bearcats in the 1st Round of the NCAA Championship Regional Rounds.

Not too long ago, I got back from a really great team dinner at our customary favorite, California Pizza Kitchen in Westwood. We all had great meal and Coach Martin went over a few things for tomorrow–and about this weekend. I won’t reveal his secrets, of course, but I will say that I think everyone is really focused and really excited for tomorrow and on. He did say that he feels really confident in us and that we are peaking at the right time–I completely agree and have so much confidence in these guys.

With that being said, I will offer my pre-match analysis of our opponent tomorrow, as promised. So hear goes.

OPPONENT: Binghamton Bearcats

CONFERENCE/RECORD: America East (12-13, 6-0)

RANKING: N/A

KEY WINS: vs. #74 Princeton, vs. Old Dominion

HEAD-TO-HEAD: 0-0; This UCLA’s first meeting against Binghamton.

SCOUTING REPORT: Despite a sub .500 record, the Bearcats dominated their conference, the America East, and are making their fourth straight NCAA appearance. The Bearcats are led by the #77th-ranked player Sven Vloedegraven, who boasts a 32-7 record on the season. (One of those losses was to Nick Meister (pre-injury) this past fall season.) After their no. 1 player, their no. 2 player has also had a great season–Arnav Jain, from India, has a 21-3 record on the season. With these two players, the Bearcats have a formidable 1-2 punch.

PREDICTION: Obviously, first round match-ups over the years are traditionally gone relatively smooth as top seeds always play the lower seeds from smaller conferences; tomorrow’s match indeed fits that bill. But that doesn’t mean it will be easy–the Bearcats have some good players and have had success in their conference. In addition, they are absolutely fired up about coming to UCLA and have been working extra hard to give us their best shot. I have no doubt that they will do that. (See HERE ) However, as long as we come out fired up, we should handle them and hopefully move on to the next round; we need to use this match as a building block and show either UCI or Ole Miss that we mean business and are serious and focused come tourney time. But again, we are not looking ahead to the 2nd Round–each match is important and tomorrow it all starts with the Bearcats.

GO BRUINS!

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