PHOENIX (AP) -Surprise, surprise. UCLA is back in the Final Four.
After flirting with trouble for two rounds, the top-seeded Bruins blitzed Xavier 76-57 Saturday to earn their third straight trip to the Final Four and record 18th overall.
Freshman Kevin Love scored 19 points, had 10 rebounds and was picked as the most outstanding player of the West Regional. Behind him, the Bruins (35-3) rediscovered the game that had made them a No. 1 seed and won their 14th straight game.
It's the Bruins' longest string of Final Four appearances since they closed the John Wooden era with nine straight trips and added a 10th consecutive trip in 1976 under his successor, Gene Bartow.
UCLA plays the Memphis-Texas winner in the national semifinal in San Antonio on April 5.
At times on Saturday, Ben Howland's Bruins looked every bit as dominant as Wooden's finer squads, annihilating a proud Xavier (30-7) team that had set a school record for victories and was trying to reach its first Final Four.
The knock on UCLA is that it often coasts with a big lead. Not this time.
Leading by nine at halftime, the Bruins snuffed out third-seeded Xavier's comeback hopes with a 14-0 run early in the second half.
The rest of the game was one long advertisement for the powder blue and gold, with a partisan crowd rocking U.S. Airways Center with chants of ``U-C-L-A!''
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute had 13 points and 13 rebounds and Darren Collison added 19 points for UCLA, which shot 53.8 percent from the floor.
Derrick Brown had 13 points for Xavier.

NCAAB Headlines

NCAAB Top Stories

Thumbnail CSU Bakersfield vs. UT-Arlington Pick Can No. 8 Cal-State Bakersfield continue its surprising run through the NIT Tournament when it takes on No. 6 Texas-Arlington in the...
Thumbnail Central Florida vs. Illinois Pick Which team will punch their ticket to New York when No. 2 Illinoismeets No. 4 Central Florida in the NIT Tournament...
Thumbnail West Region Odds The West Regionhas two clear frontrunners to reach the Final Four. Here is a look at the odds to win this region of the NCAA...
Thumbnail South Region Odds The South Regionwas the only one to have chalk reach the Sweet 16. Which team will have another two wins in the NCAA Tournament and reach the Final...
Thumbnail Midwest Region Odds The Midwest Regionof the NCAA Tournamenthas plenty of good storylines, but which of the four teams will have a happy ending and reach the Final...

NCAAB Team Pages