It’s back to Salt Lake City for UCLA Coach Steve Alford, as his Bruins play Utah on Saturday afternoon.
This was the scene of a red-faced moment for Alford … or, a Crimson-faced one. His last game as New Mexico’s coach was seeing the third-seeded Lobos upset by Harvard in the first round of the NCAA tournament in Salt Lake City last spring. Within weeks, Alford was at UCLA.
Alford has had success in the city as well, with intense games against Utah when the Utes were in the Mountain West Conference with New Mexico.
Alford had a 2-2 record against the Utes in Salt Lake City. There were two overtime games — both Lobo wins — and another that was a one-point Utah victory.
“We had wild games with them,” Alford said. “It was always a war. It’s probably not going to be any different.”
Still, Alford’s trials and triumphs in Salt Lake City may pale compared with what UCLA players experienced last season. A blizzard hit before the game and only creative bus driving got the Bruins to the arena.
“The snow almost pushed us back down the hill,” Adams said. “It was pretty scary.”
Once at the arena, UCLA took care of business, holding on to beat the Utes, 57-53.
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