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U.C.L.A. vs *$c Game Thread

A midweek home game against a down trogan team with the conference race getting tight...How many ways can you say "Must Win"?

David and Travis Wear battle for a rebound last season.  No, this is not photoshopped.
David and Travis Wear battle for a rebound last season. No, this is not photoshopped.
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

It's Blue Out night in Pauley (HT to LABruin), Reggie Miller will get his #31 raised to the rafters at halftime, and our U.C.L.A. Bruins host those people from across town in the Bruins only basketball game this week. Tip off is set for 7:05 PST and the game is televised on the Pac-12 Network. Sorry, Dish customers.

The Bruins will feature brand new all-blue unis tonight, and U.C.L.A. has asked all fans to wear blue head to tonight's game. Personally, the fans should always wear blue to every game regardless, but tonight those fair weather types who don't occupy their courtside seats have the advantage of the blue seats hiding their absence.

The Bruins are 6-2 in the Pac-12, 2 games behind undefeated Oregon and just 1 game in front of both Arizona schools. Meanwhile, *$c is a lousy 3-5 in conference and 8-13 overall, and was swept ASU and Arizona last weekend.

The trogans have been all sorts of mess this year, as DCBruins outlined in his excellent preview yesterday. But then again, they are seemingly a mess every year in basketball. Despite that, Ben Howland is amazingly only 13-8 against *$c. Can anyone think of 8 times we should have lost to the trogans in basketball in the last decade? Or how about ever?

The Bruins may be shorthanded tonight, with Travis Wear battling back from a concussion against Arizona, and Shabazz Muhammad suffering from a stomach flu. Both of them are gametime decisions, so we may have to wait to see if they come out for warmups before knowing if they'll go. The Bruins' have a cakewalk if both of them available. If they are not, the Bruins will need better contribution and balance from their short bench than we saw against ASU last Saturday. We have seen the Bruins weakness inside, and the trogans have 3 7-footers on their roster. Howland and company better have a plan for how to defend the paint and win the rebounds. But no matter who is on the floor for the Bruins tonight, this is still a game that we should win, and as sad as it's come to this, a game we really have to win.