75 NatChamps wrote yesterday: "At least we are in the hunt. We have a team that has a chance to go far." I like 75 but disagreed with him in the thread. Yes we are in first in the PAC 12 and I even think we are "in the hunt" for an NCAA tournament bid by showing we can win on the road in the PAC 12. But I disagree that we have a "chance to go far" which I define as deep in the NCAA tournament and winning the PAC 12. UCLA is now winning the close games in the PAC 12 it lost last year. This is potential for a better team than the last four years, enjoy the ride. But big picture, UCLA should not have to wait five years and counting to win the PAC 12 or be relevant for discussions of who may win the tournament.
But tonight's game will be a better indication than either 75 or my opinions. A win against Colorado on the road on a short turn around means maybe there is a glimmer of hope to "go far" and be relevant nationally. A loss is not the end of the season, but it will be another nail in Howland's coffin at the end of the season.
The official preview is here and gametracker is here. The Colorado preview is here and some Bruins Nation notes are here, ironically both with the same key word "Finish." Both teams have had problems finishing games.