Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

UCLA Basketball: Can The Bruins Still Win The Pac-12?


Can the Bruins still win the regular season Pac-12 Conference Title? In a word: no. Oh, it’s theoretically possible. The Bruins could win out. The Ducks could implode and lose three games out of their last eleven. These things could happen, and if they do the Bruins are the regular season champs, but it’s not very likely. In fact, here’s how unlikely it is: even I don’t believe it’ll happen and I’m as relentlessly positive a Bruin fan as you could ever find.

That’s not to say Oregon’s remaining schedule isn’t challenging; it is. Road games at Colorado and Washington are far from bunnies. The trip to Northern California is never a given. In fact, if Oregon finishes the season with less than three conference losses I’ll be mildly surprised. But then Oregon’s performance isn’t really the issue so much as it’s the Bruins’. UCLA can’t seem to get out of its own way.

It’s been said repeatedly: UCLA is a good, but not great team. Great teams hold serve at home. The Bruins have lost twice at Pauley. Great teams are consistent. Well, we did reel off ten wins in a row, but some of those wins were uninspiring. And from the “What Have You Done For Us Lately” Department, we just got through losing two out of three games. This is not a great team.

That stated, our remaining schedule doesn’t look awful. Our toughest road game is against the #5 team in the Pac-12, Washington, who is as I’ve said previously a potential paper tiger; they’re certainly not as dangerous as in years past. The two best teams we have on the schedule are ASU and Arizona, and we have them at home. It seems to me we have a remaining schedule that may well allow us to build momentum for the post season, but not to catch Oregon.

Side Note: We are consistently moving up seeding spots on a weekly basis in a certain NCAA Bracket Projection. The latest projection as of today has us as a six seed. If we win out or lose only one game through the end of the season I don’t think it’s unreasonable for us to get a four seed, especially if we have a strong showing in the Pac-12 Tourney as well. Win the Pac-12 Tourney under those the circumstances I just described and we may even be able to sneak in as a three seed. Yeah, I know. Wishful thinking, but it sez here this is actually more likely than us catching the Ducks.

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Tags: Basketball Bruins Pac-12 Tourney

  • grateful_bruin

    I would be surprised if Oregon escapes the Pac12 season and tournament without a couple of losses. They seemed beatable against the Bruins, not dominant. Regarding the Bruins, Coach has taught them how to compete against and beat great teams. Now he has to get them to perform consistently. No one is going to roll over for the Bruins.

    • GoJoeBruinUCLA

      Howland hasn’t taught them that, instead he’s done well in preparing for great teams but totally ignores teams like ASU, which are decent but not “very good.” But Oregon will lose, at least once. We’re going to need them to fall flat a few more times tho.

      • grateful_bruin

        Did anyone say that Oregon might lose a couple of games this year? ;-) And they lost to Cal and Stamford, some of the lower-tier Pac12 teams. At least UCLA isn’t the only team with an identity crisis this year. I didn’t mean this weekend, but someone was listening. *someone keys the spooky music*

        • GoJoeBruinUCLA

          LOL. You called it. Too bad we also are pretty inconsistent. If we beat ASU and USC, we’re right atop the conference. DAMMIT.