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NCAA Screws UCLA But Gives Alford an Opportunity

UCLA is matched up to play Florida early for the third consecutive time.

What do the last three UCLA appearances in the Tourney have in common?  Florida in the round of 16 or 32.
What do the last three UCLA appearances in the Tourney have in common? Florida in the round of 16 or 32.
Mike Ehrmann

I mean this all seriousness; Steve Alford got his dream set up.  Something that all UCLA fans would agree with him on is the Dan Guerrero/Ben Howland non-conference schedule stunk.  Alford added the tough games like Duke, Weber State (in the tourney) and Drexel to the non-conference schedule of creampuffs.  He wants UCLA to play tough games.

Thus the tournament set up should be to his liking.

  • He plays in San Diego, the best possible first round location for the Bruins. Bruin fans should come out and support the players which was not going to happen if UCLA was playing in say Buffalo.
  • If UCLA and VCU win their first games, Steve Alford the competitor gets to coach UCLA against one of the guys, Shaka Smart, that many think should have received the UCLA job before him. Not really a completely fair comparison as VCU does not have the same talent base but Alford the competitor must like the chance to beat Smart.
  • As a UCLA fan if you could pick a team to beat in the tournament it would be Florida. Three out of the last seven NCAA tournaments UCLA's run has ended with Florida. On the court the best way to win the hearts of UCLA fans is winning a national championship, short of that; the second best may be beating Florida, especially as a #1 seed.

Steve Alford in a sense has the dream schedule and matchups to prove himself on the court.

On the hand as a Bruins fan, I am kind of pissed off at the NCAA Committee.

  • The UCLA v. Tulsa game is on the 20th anniversary of the disastrous UCLA loss to Tulsa. So this year instead of seeing highlights of some of the many past great Bruin wins we will get a week of pictures of one of the worst UCLA losses in the last twenty years.
  • Last year the committee said they gave Arizona our seed because of the injury to Jordan Adams. This year Arizona is 9-4 since Brandon Ashley has been hurt and 2-2 in their last four games. They have paid no price.
  • Similarly Kansas (also seeded in our region) is seemly paying no price for the injury to Joel Embiid? Everyone except the committee knows they are not the same team.
  • Every year now the NCAA sets UCLA up to play Florida. Last year UCLA was supposed to play Florida in the round of 32 but choked to Minnesota in the first/second round. This means the last three times UCLA has qualified for the tournament the committee has matched UCLA up with Florida in the round of 16 or 32. Of course that makes sense because they are so geographically close.
  • Also, Arizona once again received the easiest path of any PAC 12 team and may have the easiest seed of any number one. UCLA for winning the PAC 12 tournament gets placed in the South with two other PAC 12 teams. How does that work? (Don't tell me that it has something to do with seeds from the same conference meeting. If Colorado where to keep winning they would play UCLA in the sweet 16 just as if UCLA and Arizona were both seeded in the west.)
  • Further in a generic tournament match up by NCAA ranking the number 15 seed should match up with the number 2 seed in the round of 16. Thus UCLA, the overall #15 rank, should be set to play Arizona ,the overall #2 rank, in Anaheim if both got that far.
  • Why did Oregon get to stay out west? I understand the argument for Arizona but Oregon? I guess they had to send UCLA to play Florida.

I am going to Memphis if they get that far.  I hope many of you are going to cheer the Bruins on in San Diego.  More later this week on Tulsa.

Go Bruins!