Bruins, Trojans Start Pac-12 Tournament Play
March 9, 2017
March Madness started this week for the UCLA and USC men’s basketball teams in Las Vegas. The tournament kicked off last Wednesday when USC beat Washington in the first round the first round. USC played UCLA last Thursday in the quarter finals and the winner of that game moved into the semifinals on Friday at 8:30 p.m. The championship game is scheduled for 8 p.m. on Saturday. To reach the quarter final game on Thursday USC beat Washington for the third time this season 78-73. The Trojans were led by the Pac-12’s most improved player, Chimezie Metu, who scored 24 points and grabbed nine rebounds. At press time USC was 24-8 and that has surprised a lot of people. I don’t think anyone predicted that we would be 23-8, said head coach Andy Enfield before the Pac-12 Tournament. Several key players left the USC program after last season and they added six new players to the roster. We are proud of our players, said Enfield. We just want to improve every week and we expect our players to play at a high level. The players we have on our team are good players and they have the desire to be great.UCLA is the No. 3-ranked team in the nation and their point guard, Lonzo Ball was named National Freshman of the Year and he was also named Pac-12 Freshman of the Year. He is expected to be the number one player chosen in the NBA draft this year. The Bruins, who have won nine games in a row, are the third seeded team in the Pac-12 Tournament behind Oregon and Arizona. If UCLA expects to win the Pac-12 Tournament and make a deep run into the NCAA Tournament it will need freshman forward TJ Leaf to be fully recovered from an ankle injury he suffered against Washington on March 1. In other college sports the UCLA women’s basketball team will start play in the NCAA Tournament on Friday, March 17. The 16-5 Bruin women’s softball team will battle Texas on Sunday, March 12 at Easton Stadium at 4 p.m. on the UCLA campus. The UCLA women’s
gymnastics team will host North Carolina on Sunday, March 12 at 12 p.m. inside Pauley Pavilion on the UCLA campus. The UCLA baseball team will face UC Irvine at home at the Jackie Robinson Stadium on Tuesday at 6 p.m. The USC baseball team will host Holy Cross on Sunday at 1 p.m. and travel to Loyola Marymount on Tuesday at 6 p.m.