The counter at top of BN says just 22 more days till the Madness begins. Per Dohn’s report today Coach Howland gathered the team on Monday and reminded them this is the time of the year when they have to kick it into a whole different gear upgrading their mindset from "serious" to "ultra-serious." And it sounds like Ben Ball warriors are "feeling it":
UCLA (23-3, 12-2) used a Pac-10 regular-season and tournament title to push to a No. 2 seed last season, and used venues in San Diego and Oakland as de facto home courts to fuel a run to the Final Four.
With an RPI rating of No. 1 and a top-five ranking most of the season, the first-place Bruins likely would secure a No. 1 seed by winning the Pac-10 regular-season title, and the players know that.
"They've beaten us here the last two years in a row," Howland said. "Josh (Shipp) and Arron and Lorenzo (Mata) have never beaten Cal-Berkeley at Pauley Pavilion. Those three are 0 for 2 here. They've beaten us two years in a row, so they're not coming in here intimidated by playing in Pauley Pavilion."
I really hope they come out with a mindset this Thursday night which will get them into Madness mode going into these last four games of this regular season. As the old cliché goes now is the time they build their momentum one game at a time. Hey clichés actually mean something when you have a Coach like Howland in charge.