5 players UCLA doesn’t want to see in the Pac-12 Tournament

On Thursday night, Washington and Keion Brooks took care of business against UCLA in Seattle. Now, with the Pac-12 looking like a two-bid league, the Bruins will need to break out of a losing streak and win the conference tournament to punch their ticket to March Madness.

Washington Huskies forward Keion Brooks Jr. (1)
Washington Huskies forward Keion Brooks Jr. (1) / Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
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. . 1. 843. Branden Carlson. Senior. Branden Carlson. player. C. Branden Carlson

This whole list honestly could have just been the five starters for Utah, but I decided to represent the team with its leading scorer. UCLA has faced Utah twice this season and is 0-2 against the Utes including a one-point loss in February and a 46-point loss back at the start of January. 

Utah didn’t have a standout scorer in their 90-44 blowout win, but Carlson did post 12 points, 14 rebounds, and three blocks in just 28 minutes. Then, in the more recent meeting, he scored 17 and went 4-7 from three. 

At 7-foot, Carlson is the type of rim protector that presents big issues for Adem Bona, and with 7-foot-1 Lawson Lovering also in the starting lineup, the Utes have too much size for the Bruins. Bona has struggled in both matchups against Utah’s massive frontcourt, scoring four and seven points in the two games with four fouls in less than 20 minutes in both. 

The second UCLA draws Utah in the Pac-12 Tournament, Cronin’s dreams of another miracle run to and through the big dance will immediately turn into nightmares of missing the NIT.

Next. UCLA's Achilles heel heading into March Madness. UCLA's Achilles heel heading into March Madness. dark