UCLA Basketball: Bruins nearly crack the Top 25 after home sweep

TUCSON, AZ - FEBRUARY 8: Aaron Holiday
TUCSON, AZ - FEBRUARY 8: Aaron Holiday /

The UCLA basketball team, though still unranked, collected several votes in the AP Top 25 Poll after beating the Oregon schools and staying in second place in the Pac-12.

Last week, the UCLA basketball team had 0 votes in the AP Top 25. That changed this week as the Bruins nearly break into the poll after collecting 20 votes, essentially putting them at 30th in the AP.

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The Bruins slid a few weeks ago with a three-game losing streak which looked to have taken them out of the Pac-12 title race. They were not good losses either. UCLA barely showed up in their loss to Colorado at Pauley Pavilion, and then had no energy on the road against Oregon and Oregon State.

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The Bruins have changed things since then as they have won 6 of their last 7 games, including big wins against USC and Arizona, games not a lot of people had the Bruins winning.

Their loss came at Arizona State, which would have kept them one game back from conference leading Arizona and strengthen their NCAA Tournament resume, but instead took a step back.

UCLA regained their footing this weekend with a couple of revenge wins against the Oregon schools this past weekend, which included an overtime thriller against the Ducks.

Unfortunately, that is the last bit of comfort the Bruins will get for the rest of the regular season as those were the last home games of the year. This week, UCLA heads to the mountains to face Utah on Thursday and Colorado on Sunday.

Six days later the schedule ends with a game at USC. That contest could decide a few different things in the conference. Not only are the Bruins and Trojans tied for second-place in the Pac-12 (1.5 games behind Arizona), but there is an outside chance that game could decide the conference regular season champion, something head coach Steve Alford has yet to win in his time at UCLA.

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But one step at a time. First focus on getting the road sweep in the mountains.