There are some holiday wishes that the majority of UCLA fans can agree with and are hoping will come true in 2024.
It is not within the realm of possibility that the UCLA Women's basketball team can win the 2024 national championship. They are currently ranked No. 2 in the country, the Bruins' are 11-0, and they have defeated three ranked teams and beat four power five conference teams this season.
Many fans are not thrilled at the low number of high school players who have signed with UCLA in the 2024 recruiting class, but fans do know that head coach Chip Kelly can add key, experienced, and impactful players through the transfer portal. The expectation is that Kelly adds more players through the portal that can immediately contributed and help the Bruins' on the field in 2024.
This may seem unrealistic, but UCLA can begin Pac-12 conference play 7-0 before their road game against Arizona on January 20th. They do start conference play on the road against Oregon State and Oregon. UCLA should be able to defeat the Beaver who are 8-3 but none of their wins are against a team from a major conference. Then the Bruins play Oregon which will be a more difficult task but the Ducks recently lost at home to Syracuse by 20 and earlier in the season lost on a neutral court to Santa Clara. Oregon also has no wins against any ranked teams and this is a game the Bruins can win.
The next two games are very winnable as UCLA plays Stanford and Cal at home who are easily two of the worst teams in the Pac-12 this season according to their current records. Then play on the road and faces Utah the following week. The Utes are a good team but the Bruins will have plenty of time to prepare for them and Utah has lost twice this season so they are not an unbeatable team. If UCLA can win this game, they will have started conference play 5-0.
UCLA then hosts Washington at home as the Huskies have been playing well of late but like Utah has two losses this season and the Bruins on their home court can defeat Washington to go 6-0 in conference play. Then UCLA goes on the road to play Arizona State a team who has fives losses this season and have lost their last three games. The Bruins should be able to defeat the Sun Devils on the road. UCLA going 7-0 is truly a holiday wish not an expected outcome but it is the holiday season and there is nothing wrong for wishing the Bruins to start Pac-12 play 7-0.
Yes, it is true that UCLA has won at least eight games over the past three seasons under Kelly but the fans want more and you can't fault the majority of the fanbase for having high expectations. The Bruins also have a brutal and difficult schedule as they begin their first season in the Big Ten but winning nine games is not an impossible task.
The winnable games on paper that UCLA should win are at Hawaii, at home against Rutgers, at home against Minnesota, on the road against Rutgers, and at home against Fresno State. That is five wins and the Bruins should be able to defeat Nebraska on the road, Iowa at home, and USC as they did this season and that would give the Bruins eight wins. The ninth win could come against Penn State on the road for example and or a bowl game victory. In theory, 10 or 11 wins would be amazing but nine wins in 2024 would make everybody who supports UCLA football at least satisfied if they have reasonable expectations.
There is a good portion of UCLA basketball fans who are just hoping the Bruins make it to the NCAA Tournament this season as UCLA is currently 5-6 on the season without any quality non-conference wins and a home loss to Cal State Northridge. However, UCLA has 20 regular season scheduled games yet to play, and playing well in the Pac-12 play can solidify a spot in the NCAA tournament.
If UCLA for example can go 14-6 in conference play, they can work theri way in to a 6th or 7th seed. Even if they at minimum, get into the play in game, they have shown under head coach Mick Cronin, they can make a run in the NCAA tournament. In the 2021 NCAA Tournament, UCLA as a No. 11 seed, defeated Michigan State and then BYU and Abilene Christian to reach the Sweet Sixteen. Under Cronin, the Bruins have advance to the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament the past three seasons. It would not be a miracle if this season's UCLA team were to make it to the the round of 16 in 2024.