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UCLA dials up timely defense for NCAA Tournament run

Bryce Alford is realistic when he assesses UCLA’s defensive prowess. He knows the Bruins aren’t in the business of holding teams to the low 60s or 50s, he said this past week as they prepared for the NCAA Tournament. What they are in the business of, however, is winning.

“When we need stops,” the senior said, “we get ’em.”

UCLA (31-4) will need plenty more this Friday against second-seeded Kentucky in the South Regional semifinals in Memphis at 6:40 p.m. PT. It’s defensive success that breeds offensive firepower for the Bruins, who are trying to advance to the Elite Eight for the first time since 2008.