Welcome to the final games in Shabazz's UCLA career. - USA TODAY Sports
8 Total Updates since March 17, 2013
2 months ago Article 15 comments
With the Bruins getting ready to take on Minnesota on Friday night, we revive a traditional March Madness series of posts on BN - looking at some of the stats and rankings underlying the performance of UCLA's next NCAA Tournament opponent.
2 months ago Article 52 comments
UCLA got treated poorly by the committee but it does not matter anymore
2 months ago Update 1 comment
Talking heads will talk. And insult.
We have said all along on BN this season that the Pac-12 was not a good conference, and we used that as evidence that the Bruins' performance this year did not mean that this was a great team and that Howland had suddenly regained his touch from the Final Four years (there were THREE of them!!). I'm happy we won the conference regular season title, don't get me wrong. But it really wasn't the great accomplishment is might have been in certain previous years when the conference had 3-4 legit top 15 teams.
Well, now ESPN gets on board. In this Bleacher Report-like list (which is not a compliment, btw) of predictions to look for in the tournament, their low expectations for the Pac-12 get a nod (bold is mine):
#6: The Pac-12 will go 0-5 in the first (second) round -- Immediately after the 68 teams were announced, the Twitterverse was filled with chatter about the Pac-12's seeding. Oregon's slot as a 12-seed, despite its second-place finish in the Pac-12 and a tourney title, was the most puzzling placement. The league can prove its worth with a strong showing in the NCAA tournament. But I think they'll do the opposite and struggle throughout its brief stay in March Madness. I could see the Pac-12 losing its five first-round matchups. Yep. Sounds crazy, I know. But Minnesota has the athleticism and strength inside to upset UCLA. I don't think Oregon is better than Oklahoma State. I think Anthony Bennett will lead UNLV to a win over Cal, even though the game will be played in San Jose. Illinois will get hot and torch Colorado. And Belmont is a tough mid-major that won't be intimidated in its upset over Arizona. That's an 0-5 tally for that league.
If there is one thing the Tourney lacks, it is hype, so perhaps we are lucky that writers like this guy will go out on a limb and make such bold predictions. On the other hand, it could be that there is a ridiculously amount of hype so writers need to go for the sensational to chip off a piece of the action and attract a page view or two.
So will the Pac-12 be the Pac 0 for 5? Maybe, maybe not. No matter what tWWL throws against the wall, we'll find out for real by this weekend.
But the take home point of this is to see the continued lack of respect for the Pac-12 this year. If the Selection Committee didn't make it clear enough, here's ESPN to back it up. And they aren't just ignorant or being petty. Unfortunately, it is deserved. The Pac-12 was a bad conference this year. The level of play was poor and inconsistent. The RPI was embarassing. The bad losses by the conference's top teams, U.C.L.A. included, were shameful.
The Howlers have been using U.C.L.A.'s conference title as some sort of proof that Ben Howland had a good year coaching. Unfortunately for their delusions, context matters. Being the best of a bad conference does not logically make you a great team, nor does it mean your coach did a magical job. ESPN thinks the Pac-12 conference gets shut out, and that its champ will lose to an 11 seed that lost 11 of its last 16 games leading up to the tournament.
I desperately hope this prediction is wrong on Friday. But it doesn't change their message. They aren't defending the Pac-12, saying we are all underseeded, and picking us for the Sweet 16 and beyond. Just the opposite. U.C.L.A. should be competing for national prominence, not for the lead of a mediocre batch of teams in the conference's worst year in a long long time.
2 months ago Update 43 comments
Major ht to 90Bruin who has linked up the game times via Turner Newsroom. It looks like right now our game is going to be last one on Friday night. It will follow the Northwester St. v. Florida game which starts at 7:27 pm EST. Assuming that game ends around 9:27 pm EST and there is a 30 minute break between the game, our tipoff is going to sometime around 10 pm EST/7pm on Friday Night.
Get this. Our game is going to be on truTV. It looks like it comes as part of Comcast's basic digital package. I am assuming that's the same for other providers. Good luck. truTV. Yikes.
UPDATE (N): As noted by KP in the comment threads TruTV is Channel 246 for "Direct TV" people. Also, for those who want to check in on the Gophers may want to check out SBN's Daily Gopher. GO BRUINS.
2 months ago Video 40 comments
Video of Ben Howland’s reactions to Selection Committee’s placement of UCLA in the 2013 NCAA brackets. He is not happy.
2 months ago Update 51 comments
As noted by ESPN (and not surprisingly) overwhelming majority of the country right now (74%) is picking the Gophers to "upset" Howland's UCLA program. More early notes/impressions:
So our game is on Friday. Tip is TBD. We will obviously have lot more here. In the meantime, if you have extended reflections, please blog them in the Fanpost section or any other key video/tweet, article that we need to take note of in the fanshots sections. Otherwise, continue to bracket discussion in this thread.
2 months ago Update 158 comments
Again if you missed it - we are taking on Minnesota as a no. 6 seed and being shipped to Austin, Texas (not a bad place)
After looking at the bracket it appears that the tournament committee has no respect for the PAthetiC-12. No team got a higher seed than 6 and Oregon barely got a 12 seed in the Midwest (although they get to play in San Jose). They must really hate Ben Howland too and this must be a big conspiracy to talk down Howland's amazing
underachievement this season.
Other notes of interest for UCLA fans:
Here is a copy of the full bracket. Dissect away.
2 months ago Update 105 comments
Well here we go. It's official. It looks like we will be in South bracket taking on Tubby Smith's Minnesota program. UCLA enters the tourney as a 6 seed and is heading out to Austin, Texas. Florida is looming as the potential second round matchup in the second round as the no. 3 seed. Lot more as the picture in our bracket becomes clearer.
Other notes so far: