Gators claim 2006 NCAA win
Published 4:17 am Tuesday, April 4, 2006
The Florida Gators have claimed the 2006 NCAA National Championship title with a 73-57 over the UCLA Bruins in a final game that was supposed to be close.
It appeared throughout the entire game that Florida was just too much for UCLA, which came up a win short of its 12th national title. The Gators took control of the game early and never once looked back.
Former Bruins coach John Wooden, 95, watched the game from a hospital bed in Los Angeles, Calif. He was admitted for an undisclosed illness that was said not to be serious.
This is the first national championship for Florida in basketball. UCLA fell in the final game for only the second time in 12 title games. The other defeat came after qualifying for the title game in 1980, when the Bruins fell to Louisville. That game was also played in Indianapolis.
Florida gave to UCLA what the Bruins have done to so many other teams in the past - just plain took them out of their game. A big help to Florida was the fact that the Gators only had six turnovers the entire game, while UCLA had 12. And the double threat of 6-foot-11 center Joakim Noah and Al Horford inside the paint was also a big problem for the Bruins.
They say defense wins championships, and that statement was all but true Monday night.