From the point where UCLA defeated Arizona at home, it almost seems like the teams were destined for a rematch in the Pac-12 Tournament.
Sure enough, that’s what tonight’s game is. The Bruins and the Wildcats only met once during the regular season in a game at the McKale Center. In that game, the Bruins went into Tucson and did something that few teams are able to accomplish — beat the Wildcats on the road.
Now, the teams have a “neutral site” rematch. Of course, the Wildcats have done their best to fill up the T-Mobile Arena with as many Arizona fans as possible. It really shouldn’t be a surprise by now. They do this year after year.
That’s not to say that Bruin fans don’t travel to Vegas for the Pac-12 Tournament. While UCLA has a reputation of not travelling well to football bowl games, the Bruins are the second-most represented team in Vegas, but U of Pay definitely has more fans than any other Pac-12 school. All you have to do is watch the Pac-12 Networks’ coverage in between games and at halftime to see the sea of red that is the Arizona fanbase.
But, that’s ok, because UCLA seems to do well against Arizona on the road.
The bigger concern for the Bruins is how Aaron Holiday and the rest of the team responds to having to play on back-to-back days away from home. After all, it should also be no surprise that UCLA under Steve Alford has been horrific on the road in games without Lonzo Ball. The Bruins are just 2-14 in those games during the regular season.
Can the Bruins reach deep inside themselves to find a way to win tonight? They will need to do so if they want to reach the Pac-12 Championship Game tomorrow night.
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