Here we go guys. Madness is officially in the air. Regular season is over. Just 10 more days to go till the Big Dance.
Back to back Pac-10 regular season champions UCLA Bruins will be taking on the winner of Cal-Oregon State game this Thursday at 2:30 pm PST. If you want to get a sense of how Coach Howland may be preparing for this game following Saturday’s (throw away) loss make sure to read the NY Times magazine profile on the Bruin head coach:
Armed with this research, Howland and his staff figure out U.C.L.A.’s defensive strategy for each game. At practice, he explains each play, then walks the players through it. Next, the starters run the play and then defend against it so they understand its nuances from both sides. After that four-part process, they view each play on video, practice the plays again the next day and then walk through them yet one more time before the actual game. "It’s exactly like a class," the point guard Darren Collison says of Howland’s preparation. "You have to pay attention and memorize."
UCLA's season-long resume is so strong — the Bruins are 9-1 against teams in the RPI's top 50 — that UCLA probably could earn a No. 1 even if it doesn't add the tournament title to its regular-season Pac-10 championship. But the Bruins would be wise to make Saturday's final.
Pencil in a short flight to Sacramento for a first-round game March 15, with another short flight to San Jose if they advance to the regional.
Elsewhere Trojan Alum Arash Markazi did a little Q&A with Kevin Love. Although there is nothing new in that interview, just wanted to make sure you guys didn’t miss anything.