UCLA Needs Wins To Make The NCAA Tournament
February 11, 2016
The UCLA Bruins men’s basketball team is flirting with NCAA Tournament qualifying failure as they travel to Arizona to face the University of Arizona on Friday, February 12, at 6 p.m. on ESPN and Arizona State this Sunday at 5:30 p.m. on ESPNU.
UCLA is 13-10 overall and 4-6 in the Pac-12.
Against Washington State last month and USC on February 4 the Bruins changed their starting lineup hoping to provide a defensive spark. They inserted Jonah Bolden, a 6-10 guard/forward into the lineup to replace senior Tony Parker and the experiment was successful for one game. They beat Washington State but lost to USC 80-61.
The main reason UCLA coach Steve Alford made the change was because he thought the Bruins were slow at the center and forward positions and they needed to be more athletic. The Bruins have the size, with Bolden, Parker at 6-9, Thomas Welsh at 7’0 and G. G. Goloman at 6’11. Now they need to blend their size, speed and athletic ability into a complete package.
Time is running out on the Bruins if they expect to make the NCAA Tournament. They have six more games in their regular Pac-12 season schedule and they need to win at least four of those games and hope other teams in the league that are ahead of them in the standings lose some games.
They are currently in 9th place in the Pac-12. If they go into the Pac-12 Tournament (March 9-12) with a record of 17-12 and win a few more games in that tournament they will have a record of 19-13 and that may be good enough to make the big dance.
There are no dominant teams in college basketball this year so the Bruins have a chance to advance if they can get hot at the end of the season.
The lady Bruins’chances of making the women’s NCAA Tournament are very good. UCLA is currently tied for second place in the Pac-12 with Stanford with a record of 9-3. The Bruins overall record is 17-6. Their next home games are Friday at 7 p.m. against Washington State and Sunday against Washington at 11 a.m.