ATLANTA (AP) - They say teams learn lessons from their losses. If so, UCLA should be more than ready for its rematch with Florida in the Final Four.
For 40 excruciating minutes in last year's final, the Bruins forced bad shots, played tentative defense, got outhustled and outcoached.
A year after Florida's 73-57 victory, most of the players on both teams remain the same. It's up to the Bruins to try to force a different result in Saturday's semifinals.
Easier said than done.
Yes, UCLA has four key players, including Arron Afflalo and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, back from last year's debacle. But Florida brought back all five starters.
Yes, UCLA has spent a year being motivated by its loss, for failing to bring a 12th championship to Pauley Pavilion. But Florida has spent the same year trying to prove it can win it all again, and become the first team to repeat since 1992 and the first to win consecutive titles with the same starting five.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)