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Number 1?

We now know who was 1 of the 2 voters who voted for the Bruins as the number 1 team in America in this week’s AP poll. It was John Wilner, Brian Dohn’s predecessor at the Daily News, who now writes for San Jose Mercury News. Here is Wilner on College Hotline, Mercury’s blog, explaining his reasons for voting UCLA as the number 1 team in America:

The Bruins’ only loss in the past three weeks, at West Virginia, came without point guard Darren Collison, who had a shoulder injury.

(If you haven’t seen the Bruins much this season, know this: Collison, not Arron Afflalo, is their most valuable player.)

Collison returned this week and UCLA swept the Arizona schools on the road. Once I saw he was back, and they were back in their rhythm, I discounted the loss at West Virginia: It simply wasn’t representative of the way the Bruins are playing right now.

Florida, Wisconsin and North Carolina have all lost games in recent weeks with their top players on the court.

Ohio State’s best win in the past month is over Purdue, which is No. 37 in the RPI. During that span, the Bruins have three wins over top-35 (RPI) teams.

In fact, the Buckeyes — talented as they are, gaudy as their record may be — only have two wins all season over slam-dunk tournament-bound teams (Indiana and Tennessee).
Well, there is not much to dispute there. FWIW Dohn voted Bruins number 2 behind Ohio State.

As for me, I am not getting worked up over this ranking stuff any more. Perhaps in previous years I would get annoyed over it. But not now that I have drank the Ben Howland kool-aid. BTW now that we are on facebook we didn’t waste any time in accepting an invitation to joining "the Unofficial Ben Howland Fan Club". If you have an account you should join us too.

Anyways, thanks to Coach Howland, I do believe in taking it one game at a time, and working to get the number 1 seed out West. That is really all I want for now: the number 1 seed out west. Once we get that, we will put ourselves in a decent spot to make a run. The NCAA tournament is a crapshoot as you all know. But getting the number 1 seed will help our cause and it will also mean that we had a pretty good regular season.

Then again, all of this discussion about who is number 1 will look silly if we slip up against Cal this Thursday. We need to take care of our business against the Bears tomorrow night.