Last night’s game was much closer than it should have been. Welp.
Survive and advance.
As a result, the Bruins play again tonight. This time, they face an Arizona team that defeated Colorado, 92-78. To say that the Wildcats had a much easier time than UCLA would be an understatement.
But, that’s what happens when you are the higher seed in a basketball tournament. You are supposed to have the easier path to make it to the championship game. In fact, yesterday’s upset of Utah by UC Berkeley was the first time a lower-seeded team had won in the Pac-12 Tournament since 10th-seeded Colorado upset 7th-seed Oregon State in the 2015 Pac-12 Tournament.
Speaking of upsets, it’s worth noting that, in the history of the Pac-12 Tournament, no #3 seed has ever beaten a #2 seed to advance to the championship game. To be sure, there have been #3 seeds who have played for the Pac-12 Championship before, but they didn’t have to defeat the #2 seed to do so. The most recent #3 seed to play in the championship game was Oregon in 2013 when they defeated the #1 seed UCLA, but they didn’t have to defeat the #2 seed to get there.
But, that’s the task that the Bruins face tonight.
If they play like they did last night, then they may go home early because you know that Arizona is going to play their best tonight.
Let’s hope that last night was the let down game that UCLA needed to push them to the next level and let’s hope that tonight’s officials call a better game than last night’s guys. UCLA can’t afford to have Lonzo Ball sitting on the bench for much of the first half due to foul trouble.
It would be even better if Allonzo Trier picked up two quick fouls soon after tonight’s game started. It would force Sean Miller off his game plan.
Speaking of game plans, if Arizona’s game plan consists of attacking Bryce Alford on offense, then the Bruins need to play most of tonight’s game in a zone defense. In fact, I’d argue they should probably play zone most of the night since it seemed to stifle the Wildcat offense in Tucson.
And, that’s what UCLA needs to do to come out ahead in this one: Play like they played in Tucson a few weeks ago.
Here’s how to watch:
#3 UCLA Bruins (29-3, 15-3)
Opponent: Arizona Wildcats (28-4, 16-2)
When: Friday, March 10, 2017, 8:30 pm PT
Where: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, NV
TV: ESPN with Dave Pasch and Bill Walton
Stream: WatchESPN.com and the ESPN app
- 1150 AM (Complete Game) and 570 AM (After Dodgers’ Game) in Los Angeles with Josh Lewin and Tracy Murray
- Sirius Channel 145/XM Channel 197 (National feed)
- And, of course, the Bruins Nation Game Thread!
Live Stats: Pac-12 Stat Broadcast