Louisville, KY (SportsNetwork.com) - The UCLA Bruins will play in the Sweet 16 for the second straight year after beating the UAB Blazers 92-75 in an NCAA Tournament South Region battle.
Tony Parker had 28 points on 11-of-14 shooting, pulled down 12 rebounds and blocked three shots for the 11th-seeded Bruins (22-13), who were coming off a controversial 60-59 victory over sixth-seeded SMU on Thursday on a much talked-about goaltending call.
"They're proof that, if you're resilient and you persevere when tough times hit, good things can eventually happen," said UCLA head coach Steve Alford. "No team is more rewarding and deserving than this team. They proved it again tonight, and I'm very, very pleased."
Parker only had three points in the win over the Mustangs.
Bryce Alford added 22 points and five assists for UCLA, which lost to Florida in the Sweet 16 last year. Norman Powell and Isaac Hamilton tallied 15 and 13 points, respectively, while Kevon Looney contributed 10 points and 11 boards.
The Bruins dominated points in the paint, 52-22, and will play either Gonzaga or Iowa in the Sweet 16 in Houston.
"We tried man. We tried zone. We tried some different wrinkles. But at the end of the day, we were not able to guard," Blazers head coach Jerod Haase said. "I felt like offensively we did enough to be able to compete, but on the defensive end we did not have an answer."
Robert Brown ended with 25 points for the 14th-seeded Blazers (20-16), who stunned third-seeded Iowa State, 60-59, in the second round. William Lee had 10 points and six rebounds.
Trailing 21-15, the Bruins went on a 20-7 run to take control. Parker tallied 10 points during the surge to give UCLA a 35-28 edge with 5:12 left in the first half.
"They were on Bryce a lot. He was able to get me the ball, and they didn't double. So I was getting easy looks and he kept getting it to me down the stretch," Parker said. "He attacked and I got good dishes from him, and he really passed the ball well today."
The Bruins then ended the half on a 7-2 spurt that Bryce Alford capped with a 3-pointer for a 46-37 lead. Parker tallied 19 points over the first 20 minutes.
Looney went on a personal 6-0 run early in the second half to make it a 54-40 contest.
The Blazers, however, stayed within striking distance and got within six, 64-58, with 10:30 to play. But the Bruins scored the next six points to put the game away.
UCLA improved No. 11 seeds to a perfect 5-0 against 14 seeds in the NCAA Tournament ... The Bruins shot 60.3 percent from the field and went 17-of-25 from the foul line ... UAB went 12-of-26 from beyond the arc ... The Blazers haven't made the Sweet 16 since 2004.