FINAL REGULAR SEASON RECORD:
12-6 in the Pac-12 Conference, good for second place behind Arizona
It hurts me to say this as a member of Bruin Nation, but as it’s now official in my heart it must be said:
I am done with this year’s UCLA basketball team.
Though as an optimist this sentiment could change, they have utterly failed to convince me that they are good enough to achieve any significant success this season.
How can I say anything else when they go up against a Washington State Cougar team that had all of two conference wins and spent the entire year fighting to stay out of the Pac-12 cellar.
Who, at least on paper, had no business being on the same floor as them.
And proceed to play not only their worst game of the season, but their worst game in several seasons, the Bruins losing to the 10-20 Cougars in Pullman, WA by a not-even-close score of 73-55.
I give Wazzu credit as it was their Senior night and, being near the bottom of the Pac-12, they had nothing to lose. But…
Let us painfully describe this latest humiliation suffered by Steve Alford’s so-called team anyway:
They made just a third of their shots.
They were out rebounded 46-37.
Kyle Anderson was the only Bruin who did anything with his game-high 19 points and team-high 11 rebounds, with Jordan Adams performing like a nine-year old in a YMCA league in scoring just seven points.
Bryce Alford was the other UCLA player in double figures with his ten points, including two three-pointers, but everyone else in blue and gold chose the worst time to stink up the joint, particularly after they beat the Washington Huskies in Seattle two days earlier.
Which continued their bad trend of losing second games of conference road trips as they fell to Utah, Stanford and Oregon State in the same fashion (more on Oregon State in a bit).
Zach LaVine embodied this Bad News Bears-like ineptness as he missed every one of his eight shots from the field and both his free throw attempts.
The worst part of all of this is that these Bruins will go into the upcoming Pac-12 Tournament at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV without any momentum.
Although as the #2 seed they will have a first round bye, UCLA’s first opponent will be a team that they have fallen victim to as 10th-seeded Oregon State will meet their Civil War rival and 7th-seed Oregon Ducks on March 12, with the Bruins meeting the winner of that game the next night.
It should go without saying that they may well lose that game.
And they way things are going with this inconsistency, it wouldn’t surprise me – at all – if UCLA did lose to the Beavers or the Ducks for a second time.
A more detailed preview of the Bruins in the Pac-12 Tourney, along with my predictions of who will prevail in Las Vegas and get the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, will appear on this site later this week.