While the Los Angeles Lakers have been lackluster as of late given the absence of LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the city of Los Angeles has been spoiled by the other basketball programs in the area.
UCLA and USC made impressive runs during the 2021 NCAA Tournament, with the former making it all the way to the Final Four while the latter was able to advance to the Elite 8. The Bruins and Trojans have long been rivals but their performances in the tournament were electric and gave basketball fans a real treat the past couple of weeks.
Prior to their game against the L.A. Clippers on Sunday, head coach Frank Vogel recognized UCLA and USC head coaches Mike Cronin and Andy Enfield, respectively, for the jobs they did.
“I do want to mention quickly the great achievements of two local college basketball coaches Mick Cronin and Andy Enfield who had spectacular seasons this year in college basketball,” Vogel said. “Andy with the Elite Eight with USC and Mick making it to the Final Four and having that great game last night. Brought a lot of joy to the L.A. area college fans and college basketball fans and just want to recognize their achievements.”
UCLA’s run was unprecedented given the roster was short-handed, but managed to escape with impressive wins over teams like Alabama in the Sweet 16 and Michigan in the Elite 8. The Bruins were heavy underdogs in both contests, and each victory came down to the final possession.
They also took undefeated Gonzaga to the wire in the Final Four, ultimately falling just short.
Meanwhile, USC was led by Evan Mobley who is a consensus top-3 NBA prospect heading into the 2021 NBA Draft. The Trojans took down formidable teams such as Kansas and Oregon before ultimately faltering to Gonzaga.
Cronin and Enfield deserve kudos for leading their respective teams so far into the tournament, and their success is worth celebrating regardless of the results.
LeBron James impressed with UCLA-Gonzaga game
The UCLA-Gonzaga Final Four matchup was one of the best tournament games in history as the two teams were evenly matched throughout the entire night. The game was set to go into a second overtime period before Jalen Suggs hit a halfcourt shot that sent Gonzaga to the Championship round.
James was particularly impressed with the schools’ showing, tweeting out his reactions once the game ended.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!