VIDEO: Norman Powell talks about reaching his second Sweet 16

Norman Powell is closing his career at UCLA with another journey into the NCAA Tournament, getting to the Sweet 16 for the second straight year after Saturday’s 92-75 win over UAB. Asked whether this run has been more satisfying than last year’s, the senior said both feel great.

“I’m just glad that the freshmen were able to have their first season hitting the Sweet 16,” Powell said. “I was joking around with Tom (Welsh) — my freshman year, I was at home watching March Madness. For him to experience that, it’s great to see these guys excited.”

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VIDEO: Tony Parker talks about his career game for UCLA

Two days after one of his worst games of the season, UCLA center Tony Parker erupted for a career-high 28 points and 12 rebounds. In a 92-75 win over UAB that put them in a second consecutive Sweet 16, the Bruins benefited from the Blazers’ lack of double teams inside.

“I really thought they were going to double-team me,” Parker said. “Their coach decided not to. That was his and his staff’s decision. Good luck with that.”

The 6-foot-9 junior became the first UCLA player to record at least 28 points and 12 rebounds in an NCAA Tournament game since Kevin Love in 2008.

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UCLA reaches second straight Sweet 16, Tony Parker scores 28

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Tony Parker began this NCAA Tournament with one of his worst outings of the season.

He only played 18 minutes in Thursday’s win over SMU, even though he only had two fouls. He finished with three points and two rebounds. He missed five of his six shots, and sat for the final five minutes of the game.

“For whatever reason, he was run down a bit,” said UCLA coach Steve Alford.

On Saturday, he made up for lost time, anchoring the No. 11-seed Bruins as they earned a second straight trip to the Sweet 16. In a 92-75 win over 14th-seeded UAB, Parker scored a career-high 28 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. It was his sixth double-double of the season.

By halftime, he had already scored 19 points. No one else in this NCAA Tournament had scored more in a single period. Against a Blazers squad not blessed with size, the 6-foot-9 center was part of UCLA’s early game plan to attack the paint. Continue reading

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