Here's to the start of yet another week. As the Bruin men's basketball team heads into the final week of the regular season, the #16 UCLA women's team completed its regular season with a 68-57 win over Arizona in Tuscon.
Freshman Nirra Fields scored a Pac-12-high 21 points and tied Brewer and senior Jasmine Dixon with a team-high eight rebounds for the Bruins (23-6, 14-4), who have won four in a row. UCLA is the third seed and will receive a bye in the Pac-12 Tournament that begins Thursday in Seattle.
The Bruins finished the regular season in 3rd place with a 14-4 record in Pac-12 play, with all of the losses coming against conference co-champions Cal and Stanford. The Pac-12 Women's Basketball tournament begins on Thursday afternoon in Seattle, with UCLA playing the winner of the Utah/Arizona opening round game on Friday afternoon, 2:30pm Pacific time on the Pac-12 Network.
Like many people following the Bruins and college basketball, Gary Parrish has reconsidered his opinion of Larry Drew, impressed by how he has grown over the past 2 years, overcoming criticism and personal doubt to become a solid point guard and a key part of this UCLA team.
And that he's gone from the kid whom I described in the opening paragraph of this column to a key figure for a nationally relevant program and team in a span of two years is one of college basketball's nicest stories. Drew took 12 shots against Arizona, made six and finished with 14 points and nine assists in 38 minutes. He's now averaging 7.8 assists, which ranks third nationally. He's the only Bruin who has started all 29 games this season.
So the Larry Drew II story has turned into a story of success.
Of bouncing back. And did you predict it?
The Bruins pulled off another victory over Southern Cal this weekend, this time on the tennis court. The Men's doubles team of Dennis Novikov and Marcos Giron defeated USC’s Max de Vroome and Eric Johnson - 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 6-4 - in the finals of the Pacific Coast Doubles Championship in La Jolla.
UCLA Softball pulled off a 5-game sweep over the weekend in San Diego, capped off with a pair of wins on Sunday: 14-3 (5 innings) over New Mexico, and 7-0 against San Diego State.
Congrats to Patrick Cantlay, who won his first professional golf tournament yesterday - the Columbia Championship - part of the Web.com Tour (formerly the Nationwide Tour).
Cantlay, who turned professional last June, won in his 19th professional start. He fired a final round 66 (-5) to win by four shots over Jim Renner. Cantlay's 72-hole total of 266 (-18) broke the previous 72-hole record held by UCLA alumnus Steve Pate at the Country Club de Bogota.
... The victory also makes Cantlay the second youngest winner on the Web.com Tour behind Jason Day, who was 19 when he won the 2007 Legend Financial Group event.
CBSSports.com and the CBS Sports Network have been working on a tv show and series of stories analyzing 'The Ultimate Bracket', analyzing and projecting how all of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament champions would fare if placed in a single March Madness bracket. The bracket and criteria are at the linked post - when you read the following statement in the introduction to the project, you know that the Bruins will come out well.
So when someone asks, "Which of John Wooden's UCLA teams was the best?" the Ultimate Bracket will have the definitive answer.
The Los Angeles Sports Council recognized UCLA's 38-28 victory over Southern Cal as the 8th best sports momentin SoCal of 2012 at the LA Sports Awards. The ceremony will be aired in Southern California on Prime ticket this Sunday at 9:30pm .