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What’s Bruin: UCLA Basketball on A Quest to Stay in the West

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News and notes from around the UCLA-iverse.

NCAA Basketball: Oregon at UCLA Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Men’s Basketball

UCLA is still two games back of Arizona, and one behind Oregon, in the Pac-12 regular season championship race. But for the three programs not only vying to win the conference but to cut down a net or two next month, more important than winning the conference will be who gets to play out West come tournament time.

Jeff Eisenberg at Yahoo Sports writes about the importance of staying close to home in the regionals for Pac-12 programs:

Since 2006, Pac-12 teams are 10-6 in the West Regional semifinals and finals and 1-11 in other regional semifinals or finals. Oregon provided the lone win back in 2007 when it beat fellow Western power UNLV in the Midwest Regional semifinals in Saint Louis.

It’s difficult to assess whether Arizona, Oregon or UCLA has the best chance to stay out West this season because all three have very similar resumes.

Ben Bolch in the LA Times writes about some history of the crosstown rivalry in basketball, but that the current Bruin squad isn’t too worried about the past—just worried about winning the next game.

"We’re not going to live in the past," Ball said. "Even though we dropped one up there, we’ve got to get one here."

Jon Wilner has his weekly Pac-12 power rankings, with the Bruins slotted third heading into the final few weeks of regular season play.

3. UCLA (23-3/10-3)

Results: Beat Oregon 82-79 and Oregon State 72-60

Next up: vs. USC (Saturday)

Comment: Average attendance is at its highest point in the Pac-12 era, according to the conference. Have to think UCLA’s rise a component to that.

Football

Five Bruins were invited to the NFL combine on February 28 in Indianapolis: Jayon Brown, Fabian Moreau, Conor McDermott, Eddie Vanderdoes, and Takkarist McKinley.

GO BRUINS.