Mar 26, 2014; Memphis, TN, USA; UCLA Bruins head coach Steve Alford addresses the media after practice for the south regional of the 2014 NCAA Mens Basketball Championship at FedEx Forum. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

UCLA Basketball Releases Preliminary Conference Schedule

UCLA basketball released their full non-conference schedule earlier today, which includes a few notable games that will serve as a barometer for the 2014 team early in the season.

Then the Bruins head into their conference slate starting in January. Although the specific dates will not be finalized until September, the Pac-12 Conference released UCLA’s opponents for this season.

UCLA opens their schedule with games at Utah and Colorado. The Utes have proven to be a difficult opponent on the road for UCLA, and with the Utah having a stronger team heading into next season, it could be another tough game.

After that, the Bruins host the Bay Area with Stanford and California coming into Pauley. That stretch is followed by the first of two games against rival USC. UCLA will play the Trojans at Galen Center in mid-January in a game that looks to be another relatively easy game against USC.

UCLA will then hit the road to play Oregon State and Oregon. The Beavers beat the Bruins in Corvallis last season, and they will definitely be looking to avenge that loss against a talented OSU squad. As for Oregon, their roster is depleted after the dismissals of Dominic Artis, Damyean Dotson, and Brandon Austin due to sexual assault allegations.

After facing Utah, Colorado, Stanford, and California for the second time in 2014, UCLA then begins arguably their toughest stretch of the conference season.

The team will go to Arizona to face the always scrappy Sun Devils before facing the Wildcats.

Despite the Bruins beating ASU 87-72 last season, they were one of the better teams in the conference, finishing in a 5-way tie for third in the regular season standings.

As for Arizona, they defeated UCLA 79-75 in one of the most entertaining games of the season at Pauley Pavilion. This game against the Wildcats will most likely be as intriguing as last season’s because Arizona comes into 2014 being one of the best teams in the country and they will be headlined by five-star forward Stanley Johnson, who will replace top five draft pick Aaron Gordon.

Overall, UCLA’s 2014 conference schedule appears to be a strong one yet again and the Bruins will have multiple tests along the way as they aim to outperform the 2013 squad.

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