When UCLA has the ball (national rank listed):

       UCLA O   LSU D
AdjEff   23       4
eFG      22      32
TO%     223     184
OR%      50      30
FTs      94       4

This game is being featured as a defensive showdown, but it deserves pointing out that the offenses aren’t too shabby. You don’t get this far without being able to do a few things right offensively. Remember that on paper, GMU/UConn should have been a game in the 60s or low 70s and it became a shootout.

UCLA’s 50-45 win over Memphis got panned due to the freakishly low score. But UCLA went 20-of-39 from the line. With ten more made free throws – not an unrealistic assumption – UCLA’s offensive efficiency works out to about 91. While that doesn’t wow you, it’s a lot better that than the 76 they really had, and it’s against a team whose defense is its calling card. I’m not saying I expect UCLA to run wild on LSU, but if people are basing UCLA’s offensive potential based on 50 points against Memphis, they have been misled.

When LSU has the ball:

       LSU O   UCLA D
AdjEff   40       3
eFG     115      42
TO%     195      92
OR%      16      48
FTs     130      65

UCLA’s defense is solid all the way around, while LSU’s offense tends to rely on rebounding. Arron Afflalo is regarded as the Bruins’ defensive stopper. His natural matchup would seem to be Garrett Temple. The only problem is, offensively, Temple is by far the least active starter in the Final Four. So I’m curious as to how Afflalo will be deployed. His other options are one of the Mitchells, each of which provides quite a different set of challenges. The best option may be to have Afflalo check Temple and also be the guy most eager to double the post.

Yes, we can probably rule out a high scoring game in this one. Only 3 of UCLA’s past 14 opponents have topped 1 PPP. None of LSU’s tourney opponents have cracked 90 in offensive efficiency. If either team gets to 70, it should win going away.