UCLA's must-win games to stay in NCAA tournament contention

There are two pathways for UCLA to get into the NCAA tournament and both are very difficult but not impossible to achieve this season.

Feb 24, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA;  UCLA Bruins forward Adem Bona (3) blocks a shot by USC
Feb 24, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; UCLA Bruins forward Adem Bona (3) blocks a shot by USC / Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Let's take a look at the two pathways the Bruins have to make the NCAA Tournament in 2024.

The odds of UCLA making the NCAA tournament are projected to be at 1.4% according to teamrankings.com. Meaning, the possibility of UCLA making the NCAA Tournament in this year is highly unlikely but not impossible. Here is a look at two options the Bruins have to make the NCAA Tournament.

Option 1: Win the Pac-12 Tournament

Pac-12 Tournament bracket

UCLA is currently in 5th place in the Pac-12 and the one through four seeds earn a bye for the first round of the conference tournament. In order to have the easiest pathway to capturing a conference title, it would greatly help if UCLA could secure a top four seed. The Bruins need to defeat Washington on the road because they play at Washington State on Saturday and losing both games would hurt UCLA's chances of getting a top four seed in the Pac-12 tournament.

Ideally, the Bruins would like to get the No. 3 seed as opposed to the No. 4 seed but that depends if you believe that Washington State would be a better match up for the Bruins in the conference tournament. UCLA would have to win three games but with some upsets and some favorable match ups, it is possible.

Option 2: UCLA wins six straight games and loses in the conference championship game

This is the least likely outcome and this still would not guarantee the Bruins a spot in the NCAA Tournament. However, if they were to defeat both Washington State and Arizona who are currently both top 20 ranked teams, it would help boost their resume. Even if this scenario were to play out, UCLA would still be considered a 'bubble team' but ending the season with sixth straight victories would be very impressive and hard for the NCAA Committee to ignore.

A must win game for UCLA.

Alaska Airlines Arena . 14-13. 518. FS1. fdfdsggsgsdg. 521. Thursday, Feb 29. 15-13. 7:30 PM PT

Next. fdfsdfsfsfsd. UCLA ranked in the state of California power rankings. dark