After UCLA defeated Arizona State, here is their path to winning to Pac-12 tournament

UCLA after beating the Sun Devils, gave the Bruins the No. 5 seed in the Pac-12 tournament.
UCLA v Utah
UCLA v Utah / Chris Gardner/GettyImages
1 of 2

UCLA is unlikely to win the Pac-12 tournament but here is the path for the Bruins to win the conference tournament and earn an invitation to the NCAA Tournament.

Final. 47. 512. ddfsfsdfs. 59. 518

Capitalize on their recent victory: Their win against Arizona State again showcased strong defensive play. If they can play elite defense they have an opportunity to win close games in the conference tournament. Maintaining that focus and replicating that defensive performance will be crucial in winning games throughout the conference tournament.

Get hot from three-point range: Their regular season wasn't stellar in terms of shooting from beyond the three-point arch. If their guards like Sebastian Mack, Lazar Stefanovic, Dylan Andrews, and even Will McClendon can consistently knock down threes at 36% or higher, it will open up the offense and make them a bigger threat throughout the tournament.

Dominate the paint: Adem Bona's double-double against Arizona State is a great sign. He and other big men like Berke Buyuktuncel and Brandon Williams need to continue to contribute and score in the paint, controlling rebounds and creating scoring opportunities inside that are key for success in the Pac-12 tournament for the Bruins.

Win the close games: UCLA might end up in some very close games as they have done many times this season where 21 games this season were determined by nine or fewer points. Executing down the stretch, making free throws, and getting key defensive stops will be the difference between advancing and going home.

Potential Favorable Matchups: The Pac-12 bracket has given the Bruins favorable matchups in the first two rounds, but if they can avoid the top seeds (Arizona and Washington State) in the later rounds and get some winnable matchups, it could build their confidence and momentum and give them a legit chance to win the conference tournament.

Remember, anything can happen in March Madness: The beauty of the conference tournament is that upsets are common. If UCLA gets hot at the right time, they can surprise some teams and win the tournament. UCLA is not the favorite, but by focusing on these areas and capitalizing on opportunities, they have a chance to make a run in the Pac-12 tournament and even possibly win it.