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UCLA Basketball Moves Up In Top 25 Polls After Arizona Win, But Have They Impressed the NCAA Selection Committee?

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UCLA notched another big win Saturday night and the Top 25 voters have given the Bruins the respect they deserve, but is it enough to get them a top seed in the West?

NCAA Basketball: UCLA at Arizona Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

On Saturday evening, the Bruins continued their “revenge tour” when they defeated Arizona 77-72. Today, the voters in both Top 25 polls have rewarded UCLA by moving them into the #2 spot in the USA Today Coaches Poll and the #3 spot in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll. Finally, the Bruins are getting respect from the pollsters.

“Ah! But how is this going to translate on Selection Sunday?” is the question on the mind of every Bruin fan. That’s because just a few days after UCLA defeated Oregon at home (even if ESPN’s Joe Lunardi thinks the Bruins only played the Ducks once), the NCAA Selection Committee released its first mid-season seedings and UCLA got no respect from the Committee who had UCLA as the 15th overall seed and going to the East region.

Oh, my! How things have changed.

There’s a new #1 team today in both polls as the Kansas Jayhawks are the new top team in the land after previously-unbeaten Gonzaga lost on Saturday night to BYU. Gonzaga’s loss has allowed the Bruins to move up in the polls and, now, if UCLA can win this week’s two home games against the Washington schools and the Pac-12 Tournament, UCLA could be back in line for the #1 seed in the West.

After all, we know from past experience that the committee seems to value more recent games over games played earlier in the season. That was one of the justifications offered when UCLA made the NCAA Tournament two years ago when no one thought the team deserved to go. (They didn’t.)

So, will wins over Oregon and Southern Cal at home and road wins over Arizona and Kentucky be enough to earn UCLA a higher seed in the West than what the committee indicated at the start of February? It should because, when you factor in what else has occurred this month in college basketball, it just makes common sense. Most of the teams who were seeded ahead of the Bruins have suffered losses in February. Heck, Virginia, which was the #10 seed, is down to #23 in both Top 25 polls today.

UCLA’s undefeated February should set them up for a high seed in March as long as they can win the Pac-12 Tournament.

As far as the rest of this week’s Top 25 polls, North Carolina moved into the Top 5 in both polls while Arizona dropped to 7th in the AP and 8th in the Coaches Poll after losing to the Bruins. Meanwhile, Oregon stayed at 6th in the AP and moved up to 6th in the Coaches Poll.

College Basketball Top 25 Polls, Week 17

Rank AP Points Last Week Coaches Points Last Week
Rank AP Points Last Week Coaches Points Last Week
1 Kansas (58) 1,618 3 Kansas (23) 797 3
2 Villanova (2) 1,487 2 UCLA (3) 730 5
3/2 UCLA (3) 1,474 5 Villanova (5) 730 2
4 Gonzaga (2) 1,419 1 Gonzaga (1) 686 1
5 North Carolina 1,381 8 North Carolina 663 8
6 Oregon 1,343 6 Oregon 653 7
7 Arizona 1,223 4 Louisville 600 6
8 Louisville 1,176 7 Arizona 585 4
9 Kentucky 1,119 11 Kentucky 578 10
10 West Virginia 1,041 12 West Virginia 478 13
11 Baylor 923 9 Baylor 461 9
12 Florida 807 13 Florida 382 12
13 Butler 795 22 Notre Dame 334 17
14 SMU 738 17 Duke 315 11
15 Florida State 722 19 Butler 314 22
16 Purdue 651 14 Purdue 299 14
17 Duke 622 10 Florida State 290 20
18 Cincinnati 504 15 Saint Mary's 273 18
19 Notre Dame 482 21 SMU 269 21
20 Saint Mary's 445 20 Cincinnati 210 16
21 Wichita State 250 25 Wisconsin 185 15
22 Wisconsin 206 16 Wichita State 140 25
23 Virginia 194 18 Virginia 138 19
24 Iowa State 168 NR Iowa State 57 29
25 Miami 123 NR Miami 48 30

Others Receiving Votes

AP Poll: Minnesota 66, Oklahoma State 54, Dayton 32, Michigan 14, Middle Tennessee 13, Creighton 12, Southern Cal 7, Michigan State 3, Monmouth 3, Vermont 2, VCU 2, Virginia Tech 2, Arkansas 1, BYU 1, Maryland 1, Princeton 1.

Coaches Poll: Creighton 44; South Carolina 25; Southern California 21; Middle Tennessee 20; Oklahoma State 16; Dayton 15; Minnesota 10; Maryland 9; Northwestern 8; Xavier 8; Michigan State 7; California 4; Arkansas 2; Michigan 2; Virginia Commonwealth 1.


Go Bruins.