That means we’ll get the pleasure of playing the 12th seed in our conference. Anyone want to guess which awesome basketball program got the distinction of being the 12th-best basketball program in the Pac-12?
You got it: usc.
The opening round is the second most ideal scenario we could’ve wound up with, with actually not playing in the first round being the most ideal, although playing usc’s basketball squad is kind of like a shoot-around in that there’s no real competition.
In all seriousness, we better be careful: usc may be a terrible, terrible squad, but our Bruins have been known to take days off against opponents that don’t normally keep anyone entertained. UCLA cannot make the mistake of falling asleep on this, or any, basketball team.
That said, UCLA needs to play the long-game here and ensure players who get limited minutes get a bump in playing time to further keep our team fresh for the barrage that is the rest of the Pac-12 basketball tourney. This means Ben Howland should — hopefully — employ the largest-ranging rotation possible.
This shouldn’t hurt our chances at beating usc either: In fact, we screwed around for 35 minutes last time UCLA played usc and still wound up winning somewhat comfortably. If a wide range of players is used to keep everyone fresh, no one will care if we beat ‘sc by 40 or by one.
The game is Wednesday, March 7, at 2:40 p.m. PST, meaning yours truly will miss tip-off. *cries*