Before we preview the Bruins game against Stanford, let's take a look at some takeaways from their win against Oregon.
UCLA's learning how to finish games and coming away with wins: While they had a commanding 18-point lead shrink and the Ducks eventually tied that game at 58 point each, UCLA managed to dig deep and pull away up ten with under a minute remaining in the game to get a much needed win against a quality opponent ranked in the top 60 of the NET rankings.
Dylan Andrews' leadership: Andrews is only a sophomore but with so many true freshmen on this team, he led the Bruins with 21 points, 7 assists, and four rebounds, demonstrating his offensive efficiency and continue improving playmaking ability. His performance was crucial in securing this win against Oregon.
Lazar Stefanovic's versatility: Stefanovic recorded a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds, highlighting his well-rounded play as he continues to improve on both ends of the floor in Pac-12 play. His contributions inside and out were valuable for UCLA and at 6'7 his presence on the wing has been felt in a positive way as the Bruins have won five of their last six games.
Team effort: UCLA won with a collective effort. They outrebounded Oregon, forced more turnovers, and executed well down the stretch making more free throws and shooting a better percentage from beyond the arc, demonstrating their overall cohesiveness and improved play on the court in conference play.
Learning to win: Head coach Mick Cronin emphasized the aspect of, the difference between "effort" and "winning effort." This victory suggests UCLA is continuing to develop a winning mentality and learning how to close out games effectively unlike earlier in the season when they lost to Marquette, Gonzaga, and Stanford by four or less points.
Significance of the win: This marks UCLA's third straight win and fifth in their last six games. It also brings them to above .500 in the Pac-12 conference, keeping them in contention for a strong finish to the season.
Let's now take a quick look at the Bruins upcoming game against Stanford.
UCLA's present rankings
Net (NCAA) Ranking: 124
Pomeroy College Basketball (Ken Pom) Ranking: 95
Rating Percentage Index (RPI) Ranking: 157
College Basketball Power Index (BPI) Rankings: 113
NCAA Tournament Probability according to teamrankings.com: 1.2%
Stanford's present rankings
Net (NCAA) Ranking: 99
Pomeroy College Basketball (KenPom) Ranking: 88
Rating Percentage Index (RPI) Ranking: 125
College Basketball Power Index (BPI) Ranking: 89
The basketball history between UCLA and Stanford and a game prediction and preview for the Bruins game against the Cardinals
The current winning streak in the series between the Bruins and Cardinals: Stanford has won the last game against UCLA in this Pac-12 rivalry having a one-game winning streak.
The last game between the Stanford and UCLA: Stanford defeated UCLA on the road this season by a final score of 59-53.
The best victory this season for UCLA and Stanford according to their opponent's current NET Ranking: For the Cardinals, it was a win against Arizona and for the Bruins, it was a victory against Oregon.
The record for UCLA against Stanford for the last ten meetings they faced off against one another: UCLA has won six of the last ten games against Stanford.
Which team is predicted to win the game according to ESPN Analytics?: They have Stanford as having a 74% chance of winning this game against the Bruins.
Game Prediction: UCLA ends up losing a close game by the final score of 73-71. However, a loss by the Bruins does not necessarily slow down their progress and improvement as winning six out of seven games would be a difficult task to complete.