• September 27, 2021

Tonight’s most intriguing match up: UCLA vs. Gonzaga

Dynamic and powerful coach 1 vs. dynamic and powerful coach 2.

The two teams have almost identical records.

UCLA will be on Gonzaga’s court, and the game is sold out.

A sellout crowd of 6,000 passionate Bulldogs fans is expected to pack “The Kennel” to root for the nation’s highest-scoring team. The 11th-seeded Bulldogs’ only loss at home came against second-ranked Stanford, the top-seeded team in the regional.

“The crowd is important and we do feed off it,” Gonzaga Coach Kelly Graves said.

Gonzaga fans were deafening Saturday during the Bulldogs’ first-round victory over Iowa. Few stuck around to see UCLA struggle against Montana, seats emptying quickly as fans presumably headed out to watch the Gonzaga men’s team play BYU on television.

They will be back in full force to see whether the Bruins can slow down a team that averages 86 points a game.

Caldwell and her players downplayed the crowd’s potential impact. The Bruins’ only loss on the road this season was at Stanford.

“We’ve been in a lot of hostile environments, such as Notre Dame and Stanford, where we’ve had 11 fans and they had thousands,” UCLA forward Jasmine Dixon said.

John Stockton says Gonzaga point guard Courtney Vandersloot is “a female Wayne Gretzky.”

Here’s how the teams match up statistically.

It’s speed and scoring versus deliberate and defense.

UCLA is at a definite disadvantage in Spokane, but I think they can do it if they stay focused.

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