UCLA Bruins (29-6) vs. Gonzaga Bulldogs (29-3)
When: Tonight, 9:57 p.m. ET (approx.)
1. Their Point Guard Is A Big Wuss. He shoots (second on team in scoring), he dishes (leads Pac-10 in assists) and his godfather is former Reds outfielder Eric Davis. He also has a huge tattoo that runs from his shoulder to his elbow, all of which — from a distance at least — pretty much makes sophomore point guard Jordan Farmar a badass. Until, that is, you realize that his intimidating ink is really a picture of him and his 11-year-old sister.
2. They Have The Fresh Prince. Freshmen Alfred Aboya and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (Pac-10 Freshman of the Year) are from Yaounde, Cameroon, where Mbah a Moute is the prince of his village, earning him the nickname "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" from his teammates. Aboya his bigger dreams: He wants to be president of Cameroon. The two have something of a cult following with Pauley Pavilion's "Cameroon crazies," who cheer their every move.
3. They Play Tenacious 'D'. During a nine-game win streak that spans the past month, coach Ben Howland's bunch is averaging 72.3 points while holding opponents to 54. The Bruins have one of the best defensive players in the country in 6-5 sophomore guard Arron Afflalo, who likely will draw the assignment of trying to stop Gonzaga's Adam Morrison. The Bulldogs will have to stagger screens to get Morrison free of the unflinching Afflalo, who was a first-team All-Pac-10 selection and CollegeInsider.com defensive All-American. Afflalo's no one-dimensional player, though; he leads the team in scoring (16.3 PPG). And if that wasn't enough, it appears his coach has a man-crush on him. "I love Arron Afflalo," Howland told the Los Angeles Times. "I literally love him." — Mark Pesavento
1. Their Mascot Is Kind Of Old. Named for Quentin Hall, a member of Gonzaga's Elite Eight hoops team in 1998, "Q" the Bulldog has served at the school's athletic events since 1999. Q traces his roots back through a long line of live bulldogs at Gonzaga, all the way to "Teddy Gonzaga" in 1921. Some of Q's predecessors include "Corrigan" (worked as mascot in the 1940s but died after eating poisoned meat), "Bullet" (earned her name in 1951 after a campus-wide naming contest; the winner got a carton of cigarettes and "Salty" (ran onto the court during the 1966-67 season and bit a referee).
2. They're All Over The Globe. Gonzaga basketball rosters have always had an international feel. Past rosters show Australians (John Rillie, Paul Rogers, Axel Dench), Bahamians (Quentin Hall), Englishmen (Germayne Forbes) and citizens of Martinique (Ronny Turiaf), but with guard Pierre Marie Altidor-Cespedes, Gonzaga finally made inroads into French Canada. Altidor-Cespedes, who has started at the second guard position for Gonzaga most of the season, is a native of Montreal whose father is Haitian and mother is Dominican. He also has an accent worthy of a spot in the Quebec Nordiques Hall of Fame.
3. If Only They Were Playing In Spokane. Gonzaga currently enjoys the nation's longest home winning streak at the McCarthey Athletic Center. The Bulldogs last lost a home game on February 17, 2003, and the streak has now reached 40 games. But before moving to the MAC for the 2004-2005 season, GU worked a no less impressive record at the Martin Centre. Over a 13 year span, from 1991 to 2004, Gonzaga had six perfect seasons at the Old Kennel and built a home record of 149-10. — Scott Alcorn