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2015-16 UCLA Men's Basketball Schedule Announced

UCLA under Steve Alford continues to play a tough non-conference schedule but catches a break in the PAC 12

UCLA Pac 12 Home opener is against Arizona
UCLA Pac 12 Home opener is against Arizona
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The final UCLA Basketball schedule was announced today and is here.  The official press release notes the television details:

UCLA will have all 31 regular-season men's basketball games televised live this season, the Pac-12 Conference announced on Thursday.

The Bruins will have at least 13 games broadcast by the ESPN family of networks, including non-conference meetings against Kentucky (Dec. 3) and Gonzaga (Dec. 12) and all three games at the Maui Jim Maui Invitational (Nov. 23-25).

Both conference matchups against Arizona will be nationally televised by the ESPN family of networks, as well as home games against USC (Jan. 13), Utah (Feb. 18) and Oregon (March 2) and road contests against Oregon State (Jan. 20), Arizona State (Feb. 14) and California (Feb. 25).

UCLA's netural site game against North Carolina in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Dec. 19 and Pac-12 road game at Oregon on Jan. 23 will be televised by CBS.

[And yes Fox as of 4:04 September 10, the UCLA website misspells neutral.  Sigh.]

Some quick thoughts in no particular order.

1.  Revenge/Embarrassment.  Depending on your way of looking at it, we have a chance to avenge or repeat our embarrassments of last year on national TV. 

2.  Where’s Duke? After years of tending to avoid the other teams with great traditions under Howland in the non-conference season, UCLA plays Kansas, Kentucky, and North Carolina this year.  Steve Alford deserves some credit for scheduling the tough games. 

3.  More tough non-conference.  UCLA is probably the only traditional power school willing to play at Gonzaga. 

4.  Big Break in the PAC 12 Schedule.  UCLA has a seeming break in the "bye" portion of the conference season in only having to play UC Berkeley, with its monster recruiting class once this year.  On paper this is the best Cal team in eons and not having to play a bunch of likely one and dones twice is a break. 

5.  Big Break in PAC 12 Part 2.  Last year’s most embarrassing road trip was the mountain trip with a record ugly loss to Utah and a bad loss to an injury- depleted Colorado.  This year UCLA only plays Utah and Colorado at Pauley. 

6.  Game to circle on the schedule.  PAC 12 home opener is against Arizona on ESPN.  UCLA barely survived going 0-3 to start the PAC 12 last season with a dramatic double overtime win over Stanford at home last year.  This year a win over Arizona on national TV could really set the tone in a positive way for the PAC 12. 

7.  Final thought.  Will UCLA’s relatively tough non-conference schedule prepare it for a relatively easy set up PAC 12 schedule?

Go Bruins!