UCLA Basketball tournament resume and preview of Colorado

UCLA has won seven of their last eight games and have been victorious in their last five games. However, they did not start the season with many wins and they need to keep winning in order to have an opportunity to make the NCAA Tournament this year.

Colorado v UCLA
Colorado v UCLA / Ethan Miller/GettyImages

ESPN. Colorado vs. ucla. 518. 514. 13-11. Pauley Pavilion. 6:00 PM PT. 16-8. Thursday, Feb 15

Before we look at the matchup between UCLA and Colorado, let's look at the Bruin's NCAA Tournament resume.

Current Record: 13-11 (8-5 Pac-12)

Rankings: RPI: 133, NET: 112, BPI: 106 KenPom: 92 AP Poll: Unranked

Quadrant Record:

Q1: 0-6

Q2: 6-1

Q3: 1-3

Q4: 5-1

Best Wins: Oregon (NET 63) and Washington (NET 68)
Worst Losses: CSUN (NET 205), CAL (NET 125)

Schedule Strength: 47th nationally according to KenPom.com

Analysis: UCLA technically doesn't even sit on the bubble of the NCAA Tournament field or the first four teams out of the NCAA Tournament. However, due to their recent victories, the projection of them making the NCAA Tournament if they continue the way they have been playing in February shows that it is a real possibility. They have a decent overall record but lack signature wins against the top 50 NET-ranked teams. Their 0-6 record in Quadrant 1 games is particularly concerning but they do have six Quadrant 2 wins. However, they have been playing better recently, winning their last five games, which could improve their case if they continue this momentum.

Here are some key factors that will determine UCLA's NCAA Tournament chances:

Remaining Schedule: UCLA has several upcoming games against the top 50 ranked NET teams, including Colorado and Utah. Winning the majority of these games would go a long way towards boosting their resume.

Pac-12 Tournament Performance: A strong showing in the Pac-12 Tournament could lock in their tournament bid.

Selection Committee Decisions: With such a tight bubble, the selection committee could ultimately weigh UCLA's record and schedule differently than other metrics.

Overall, UCLA's NCAA Tournament chances are uncertain. They need to continue winning games and hope for some favorable results from other bubble teams to secure a bid.

Game preview and prediction

Tip-off: Thursday, February 15, 2024 at 9:00 PM ET
Location: Pauley Pavilion, Los Angeles, CA
TV/Streaming: ESPN

The Bruins are riding a five-game winning streak, including a narrow victory over Cal in their last outing. They boast a strong defense, ranking 15th in the nation in points allowed per game (64.0).
However, their offense has struggled, averaging just 66.2 points per game (334th in the nation).

The Buffaloes are coming off a tough home loss to Arizona where the lost by 20, their third defeat in their last four games. They have a high-powered offense, averaging 80.7 points per game (39th in the nation). However, their defense has not been as consistent, allowing 72.3 points per game (190th in the nation).

Matchup, History, and Prediction:

This game promises to be an intriguing battle between two teams heading in opposite directions. While UCLA has found the ability to win close game, they need their offense to continue to play well. Colorado's potent offense can challenge the Bruins' defense, but their struggles on the other end could be their undoing and they have only won one true road game this season.

The current winning streak in this series between these Bruins and the Buffaloes: UCLA has won the last five games between these two teams in this in-conference rivalry.

Last game between these two teams: UCLA defeated Colorado in the Pac-12 tournament on March 9th of last year by a final score of 80-69.

In the last ten meetings between these two teams: The Bruins have won eight of the last ten games between them and Colorado.

Prediction: UCLA 75, Colorado 71

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