Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 3/20/13
MINNEAPOLIS Since the matchup was announced on Sunday, the Minnesota men's basketball team liked the draw it received in its first NCAA tournament game against UCLA. The absence of Jordan Adams for the Bruins might have something to do with that. Adams, a 6-foot-5 freshman guard, suffered a broken foot in the Pac-12 semifinal game Friday against Arizona. It happened on the final play of the game a 66-64 win for the Bruins but not before Adams scored 24 points and added four rebounds, two assists and two steals to help lead his team to victory. Without Adams, UCLA lost the Pac-12 title game against Oregon the following day. Now, the Bruins must figure out a way to compensate for the loss of their second-leading scorer when they face the 11th-seeded Gophers in the NCAA tournament on Friday. Gophers coach Tubby Smith said he's confident UCLA will still be competitive without Adams. "They have other people that can step in and have done a good job," Smith said Tuesday. "Those guys that were not playing much, this is a great opportunity for them." Because of Adams' injury, Minnesota is actually favored by three points despite being the lower seed, one of just two lower seeds favored by oddsmakers in the first round of the tournament. That comes despite the fact UCLA finished ranked No. 24 in the AP top 25 poll and the Gophers were not even receiving votes. Come tournament time, the loss of one player can make a world of difference. The loss of Adams couldn't have come at a worse time for UCLA. "This is bad for us," Bruins freshman Shabazz Muhammad told the Orange County Register after Adams suffered a broken foot. "We're going to the tournament, and we were feeling really confident. This is terrible." Though Muhammad is UCLA's leading scorer, Adams was an equally adept weapon on offense. He scored a season-high 26 points in just his second college game a one-point overtime win against UC Irvine and surpassed 20 points in each of his first four games. Adams was also the Bruins' best free-throw shooter, as he connected on 84.3 percent of his attempts from the line. Now UCLA won't have his consistency at the free-throw line if the Bruins need to make key free throws down the stretch against the Gophers. "I'm sure that's why a lot of people are looking at it and say, Well, Minnesota may have a chance because of that,' " Smith said. "But they've got a very talented team." Muhammad averaged 17.8 points for the Bruins this year. After Adams' 15.3 points per game, only Travis Wear (11.2 ppg) averaged in double figures. But Kyle Anderson scored 9.8 points per game for UCLA, and the Bruins also have several other scoring options. One of the Bruins' big flaws is that they lack depth off the bench. With Adams healthy, UCLA had seven players average at least 20 minutes per game. That meant rest of the bench rarely saw the court. Now with Adams sidelined, Bruins coach Ben Howland essentially has a six-man rotation, meaning someone else will have to fill the void left by Adams' injury. "It's just like any team. You've got guys that maybe are not getting in the game as much as they hoped. Now that's a good opportunity for them," Smith said. They're a solid team with or without (Adams)." Follow Tyler Mason on Twitter.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Roy Williams honored late Pat Summitt during game at Tennessee

Burfict responds to Smith-Schuster's TD celebration

Antonio Brown taken to hospital for further evaluation

Cam Newton offers support for Panthers owner

Captain Munnerlyn calls benching ‘slap in the face’

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Jerry Richardson would ask to shave women’s legs

Twitter reacts to Thomas Davis' dirty hit on Davante Adams

Randall Cobb splits defenders with sick move on catch-and-run TD

Eli Manning's two TDs against Eagles vault Manning family to 1,000 TDs in regular season

Stephen Strasburg says he may skip future All-Star games due to injury concerns

WATCH: Andy Dalton throw to three Vikings defenders results in pick-six

Sports & Politics Intersect: Mr. Jones goes to Washington

The 'It's the most wonderful bowl of the year' quiz

NHL Weekender: Bolts keep striking, Preds on the hunt

Chargers are the AFC team no one wants to play in January

Donald Trump's quotes vs. the sports world in 2017

Five MLB teams that should trade for Manny Machado

The 'It's always chilly in Indiana' quiz

NFL puts safety entirely on players, again

Eight NFL teams who simply need to start over

Most important player on every team in each bowl matchup

NFL Week 15 Predictions

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Boogie, Z-Bo reach out and punch someone

Bruins News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Sports & Politics Intersect: Mr. Jones goes to Washington

NHL Weekender: Bolts keep striking, Preds on the hunt

The 'It's the most wonderful bowl of the year' quiz

Donald Trump's quotes vs. the sports world in 2017

Chargers are the AFC team no one wants to play in January

The 'It's always chilly in Indiana' quiz

NFL puts safety entirely on players, again

Most important player on every team in each bowl matchup

NFL Week 15 Predictions

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Boogie, Z-Bo reach out and punch someone

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker