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Is Mediocre Acceptable Every Other Year for UCLA Basketball?

Is a 60% tournament rate acceptable?

NCAA Basketball: Kentucky at UCLA
UCLA’s only top 50 win is over Kentucky, it is not enough.
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Two writers in recent days have opined on the state of UCLA Bruins Basketball. One is a clueless sycophant and the other the Dean of Pac-12 writers. You can guess which one I agree with. However, the point is: What do you, as a UCLA fan, want?

First, the analysis of Jon Wilner, the best writer on Pac-12 sports in a blurb entitled: UCLA: Too little, too late?

The Bruins sure looked like an NCAA tournament team Saturday in dismantling Stanford — devastating on offense, stout on defense, efficient, aggressive, balanced.

But I’m skeptical that we’ll see the Bruins in March Madness due to a resume severely lacking in one vital area:

In the same season the selection committee revamps its parameters for RPI quadrants in order to place greater emphasis on victories away from home, the Bruins have exactly one road/neutral court win over a top-100 opponent (Kentucky).

It has five chances left to collect quality road/neutral wins (the Arizona schools, the Mountain schools, and USC), plus the conference tournament. Here’s guessing the Bruins will need to win more than one of those five — such is the depth of the hole they’ve dug to date.

Let me say this another way: UCLA has the talent and ability to be a tournament team, but they are in danger of missing the tournament. So, UCLA has to win all remaining home games (including Saturday against a talented, cough, cough, corrupt, Southern Cal team) and win 2 out of those five road games to have a shot. Doable. Ironically, it may come down to the last game of the year at Southern Cal to determine UCLA’s fate.

And that should also determine Alford’s fate.

I don’t see any world where UCLA missing the NCAA tournament for the second time in three years should be acceptable. Forget the China Three, there is plenty of talent to be one of 68 people dancing. This is just plain ugly and should be obvious to anyone.

Well, almost anyone.

Dylan Hernandez over at the Los Angeles Times has written an article titled The Bruins aren’t going anywhere, but the same should be said of Steve Alford. Hernandez writes:

It’s true the Bruins are back on the NCAA tournament bubble, and it’s true they are in danger of missing the 68-team field for the second time in three years.

But Alford is also the same coach who reached three Sweet Sixteens in his first four seasons in Westwood. He deserves better than to be judged on this season.

Okay, how about judging him on two out of the last three seasons? Or his whole record? Is making the tournament 60% of the time really an acceptable percentage? Or how about five seasons without a Pac-12 regular season title? I could go on. But, what’s the point? It doesn’t matter to Hernandez.

Hernandez concludes:

As they are now, the Bruins are a mediocre team in a mediocre conference. But everything can change in a year, as it did the last time they failed to reach the NCAA tournament.

The next step forward for UCLA could be taking no step at all. It worked last year and it could work again. There’s no harm in waiting.

Really? Let’s all enjoy mediocrity because next year will be better. Geez, we can’t even take advantage of other’s mediocrity. So, making the tournament every other year should be good enough for UCLA? Is that acceptable to you, my fellow UCLA fans?


Should Steve Alford remain UCLA Basketball Coach if UCLA misses the NCAA Tournament for the second time in three years?

This poll is closed

  • 19%
    (181 votes)
  • 75%
    (697 votes)
  • 4%
    As long as he does not have a losing record
    (43 votes)
921 votes total Vote Now