KU, UCLA going different directions

BY foxsports • December 8, 2009

Standing outside his team's locker room, Bill Self was asked about the last time Kansas went up against 11-time national champ UCLA.

The Jayhawks coach quickly cracked a smile.

"We showed our guys tape of that game," he said.

It was a game he still hadn't forgotten about.

Now, maybe he can — even if this isn't the same kind of UCLA team that faced Kansas in the 2007 West Regional final.

"We're certainly not going to apologize," Self asserted after a 73-61 victory over the Bruins in the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series Sunday at Pauley Pavilion.

"Anytime you go on the road and win, it's a good win. Anytime you go on the road and win against a team that's won 103 games over the last three years, it's a huge win."

After all, the last time these two national powers met, it was late March and a trip to the Final Four was on the line.

Arron Afflalo and the second-seeded Bruins got the best of top seed Kansas that night in San Jose, Calif., but a lot has changed since that moment of glory for UCLA coach Ben Howland.

Fast forward more than two years later, and both programs appear to be headed in completely opposite directions.

Kansas, for one, won a national title in 2008 and then added a third straight Big 12 regular-season championship to its trophy case last season.

And believe it or not, another national championship might not be far away, with Self team's picked as the preseason No. 1 thanks to the return of point guard Sherron Collins and big man Cole Aldrich.

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