The UCLA Bruins were looking like one of the strongest teams in the country entering the Pac 12 Tournament, then an injury to Jaylen Clark, their third leading scorer and best defensive player looked like it might sink their season.
Clark’s season is over, but UCLA’s is not. Mick Cronin’s team has made it back to the Sweet 16 for the third straight year. We all remember their improbable run from the First Four to the Final Four in 2021, but when was the last time UCLA won the NCAA Tournament?
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When was the Bruins’ last National Championship?
Everyone has heard the stories of John Wooden’s 10 national championships in 12 years at UCLA, but they’ve reached the mountaintop once since the greatest coach in college basketball retired from dominating the sport. Back in 1995, UCLA defeated Arkansas, 89-78 in the National Championship game. UCLA was the No. 1 seed in the West Region that year and Ed O’Bannon had 30 points in the final game.
This year, UCLA is the No. 2 seed in the West Region, but what are its odds to win it all in 2023, 28 years after Jim Harrick coached them to a title?
UCLA’s odds to win the National Championship
The Bruins have looked very strong in the tournament, first dominating UNC Asheville and then beating Northwestern, 68-63, in a somewhat uneventful journey to the Sweet 16. Despite their injuries at the moment, they have the third best odds to win it all in Houston at +900 in the DraftKings Sportsbook. They have the same odds at DraftKings as UConn, the No. 4 seed in the West region.
The Bruins have experience with Jaime Jaquez Jr. and Tyger Campbell and a great coach in Mick Cronin, but they have a huge test against Gonzaga in the Sweet 16. Gonzaga has a lethal offense and that’s a game where the Bruins could really use Jaylen Clark’s defense.
However, if they get past that game the region has opened up with Arkansas beating top seed Kansas in the round of 32.
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