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UCLA Basketball: California Game Thread -- Another Must Win Against An Injured Opponent

That was a thrilling win against Stanford Thursday night, but the Bruins need to win this afternoon and Wednesday against USC. It really should be easy.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The UCLA Bruins (9-7, 1-2) host the UC Berkeley Gold Bears (11-5, 1-2) this afternoon Pauley Pavilion. Tip-off is set for 4:31 PM PT. You can catch the game on Fox Sports 1. Justin Kutcher and Casey Jacobsen will call the game (Kutcher is the journeyman play-by-play and Jacobsen was a Mickey D from Glendora who went to Stanford in the Lavin era). You can also listen on Tunein Radio or 570 AM. Follow along with live stats here.

Read the DC Bruins' preview and the official guide at (from which you can click to their exhaustive stats and tidbits).

UCLA is the seven point favorite. Sounds nuts, but we should be seeing that for the next 4 four games.

The big issue today is whether Norman Powell is playing. There is no news as of this writing. Oddly, though Bryce and Isaac are the much bigger problems, getting one of the guards out seems to lift the team as a whole.

This game has similarities to the Stanford game although Berkeley is not as deep and the upside isn't quite as high but both teams are guard-oriented now and playing without a key forward. They had a couple of marquis wins, Syracuse and Washington, and played Wisconsin tough for most of the game, but lost to Bakersfield, Washington State and the JC down Southeast from us. That was hard to do, but the loss of Jabari Bird has left them seemingly without the ability to score (as opposed to Stanford's loss of Reid Travis who is a rebounding and defensive threat to counter Looney). As DC points out, they are superior to UCLA at the guards with Tyrone Wallace and Jordan Matthews, but unless 6'10" David Kravish steps up with points, the Bruins should win this on the backs of Looney and Parker.

Enjoy the game thread with your fellow BNers and Bruins.