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UCLA Basketball: No. 1 Arizona – Alford’s Last Chance for A Signature Regular Season Win

No. 1 Arizona is last chance for a signature win for Pac-12’s highest (obscenely overpaid) coach in the conference.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

So we are now at the point of the year when it is difficult to ignore or be in denial that we have a basketball programs. Thanks to the excitement from our football program we haven't had to spend much time thinking about TIARA and his boring program. We kind of forgot about the disastrous recruiting season in which Steve Alford failed to land a legitimate, elite point guard to lead the basketball program.

Yes, some of us have been dozing through the OOC games as Chianti and Ben Howland had lined up cupcakes after cupcakes to fatten up with wins (although Howland would lose some of these games). The two games we really checked into - Missouri and Duke - Alford's team looked like a street-ball playing, undisciplined bunch, who didn't have much interest in playing defense.

At 12-2 the Bruins do not have a single signature win. Sorry.  We don't care much for a blowout win against a junior college's irrelevant basketball program, which is known more for its clown-show football program. As JR Henderson said that's JustSC.  But the Bruins will have one shot at getting that signature win this Thursday night, when an over-rated and overhyped (No. 1 ranked) Arizona team comes into Pauley for their regular season matchup against the Bruins.

Due to scheduling quirks UCLA and Arizona will play only once this season and it's going to be at Pauley. This is basically the same Arizona team led by an over-hyped coach (but a good recruiter) that UCLA swept last season. Sure, Arizona has added Drew Gordon's little brother - Aaron Gordon - to their program, but the Bruins are arguably better this season with addition of Zach LaVine and subtraction of Shabbazz  Muhammad.

Yes, Arizona will be favored on paper for this game, but this is a MUST WIN game for Alford if he wants to change the perception about his program. If Bruins hold serve at Pauley on Thursday, it can be sweep this weekend and get into the top-20.

However, if Alford's team blow this opportunity, UCLA is going to be in precarious shape heading into a difficult road-trips against Colorado and Utah.

Remember before the season started, the Pac-12 reporters had picked the Bruins to finish second in the conference. If the Bruins are truly led by a coach who is worthy of being the highest paid coach in the conference, this is a game they should win.

So let's see how TIARA's program performs on Thursday night. The tip-off is scheduled for 6 pm PST and it will be televised on ESPN. If you care to hear what TIARA had to say about the matchup here are his comments to the reporters:

Sorry I don't have any "highlights" to share from this video like I usually do after Mora's pressers. I don't have the time to waste to listen him drone on as he is just as compelling as Karl Dorrell (except Dorrell wasn't a sleazebag).