Our UCLA Bruins take on Tulsa this Friday, if they win they will face the winner of SF Austin/VCU on Sunday. If they win that game they will most likely take on Florida in the sweet sixteen. Now even though Billy's gators are the #1 seed in the whole tournament, all UCLA fans should be expecting an elite eight appearance this year. And here are some reasons.
Talent: There is no question UCLA has more talent than Tulsa and VCU or SF Austin so I won't waste time making that argument. As far as Florida goes I think we can do the simple eye test here to realize that UCLA is the more talented team, but if you are into rankings we can go by that as well. Rivals had Florida at the #8 recruiting class last year while UCLA was way down there. But in 2012 UCLA had the #2 recruiting class while Florida was somewhere in the early twenties. With the loss of Shabazz (addition by subtraction in my opinion) and the Wears being McDonald AAs vs another early twenties ranking by Florida in 2011, UCLA still beats out Florida in talent coming out of high school. Now back to the simple eye test, no team in the country has a player as unique as Kyle Anderson and a as player savvy as Adams.
I don't think too many will argue with talent, but what I did hear someone say to me when I mentioned elite eight or bust was "they are the #1 team in the country, it can't be a busted season if we lose to them". That somebody could not be more wrong. So far this season has been underachieved, with losses to Oregon State Utah and Washington State. I did not mention Stanford cause I expected one bad loss this year and quite frankly the trees just straight up beat us. Sometimes you have to tip your cap. Take away the three bad losses and our Bruins are 29-5, and UCLA facing a one seed in the sweet sixteen isn't happening. Shoot a pac 12 championship and a pac 12 tourney championship with only 5 losses might have put UCLA as a one seed or the best two seed. We got what we deserved imo getting the four seed against the best one seed with our bad losses. That being said we should be where Louisville is but Louisville and Florida can't see each other that early.
I realize there is a lot of people that will always be against Alford, but a deep run this year will win over a large amount (not even close to everyone) of fans. If he wants to win over fans this might be his best chance. An elite eight would erase those bad losses mentioned above as well. It shouldn't be a dream, but an expected goal.
Elite Eight or Bust