UCLA announces early season men's basketball schedule
August 12, 2021
The UCLA Bruins have announced a very challenging early season men’s basketball schedule for the months of November and December. Below is the November & December schedule for the Bruins. Games listed as TBD mean time to be determined:
Tue. Nov. 9 CSU Bakersfield Pauley Pavilion – TBD
Fri. Nov. 12 Villanova Pauley Pavilion – TBD
Mon. Nov. 15 Long Beach State Pauley Pavilion – TBD
Wed. Nov. 17 North Florida Pauley Pavilion – TBD
Mon. Nov. 22 vs. Bellarmine Las Vegas, Nev. – 5 p.m.
Tue. Nov. 23 vs. Gonzaga Las Vegas, Nev. – 7 p.m.
Sat. Nov. 27 at UNLV Las Vegas, Nev. – TBD
Wed. Dec. 1 Colorado* Pauley Pavilion – TBD
Sun. Dec. 5 at Washington* Seattle, Wash. – TBD
Sat. Dec. 11 at Marquette Milwaukee, Wis. – TBD
Wed. Dec. 15 Alabama State Pauley Pavilion – TBD
Sat. Dec. 18 vs. North Carolina Las Vegas, Nev. CBS 12 p.m.
Wed. Dec. 22 Cal Poly Pauley Pavilion – TB
“We’re excited to get back on the court, and we’re looking forward to seeing our fans again,” said Mick Cronin, The Michael Price Family UCLA Men’s Head Basketball Coach. “I know that our players want to compete in big games. That’s why these young men want to play for the Bruins. They want to play on college basketball’s biggest stage, under the brightest of lights, and we had multiple opportunities to experience that last March. I’ve said this a lot since last season, but we really miss our fans, and we’re relying on their support.”
The Bruins open at home against the Cal State Bakersfield Roadrunners at Pauley Pavilion on November 9th. This will be a good matchup for the opening game. The Roadrunners are members of the Big West and coached by Rod Barnes. The Roadrunner under Barnes have a reputation for playing a competitive, physical, hardnosed brand of defense. They are similar to the Bruins defensively and a good opening game test.
The Bruins will play three days later at home against the Villanova Wildcats. Andy Katz of the NCAA.com has the Wildcats raked No. 4 in the nation in his Power 36 rankings. The Bruins are ranked No. 1 in the nation. This will be a significant test for the Bruins. The Wildcats were National Champions in 2016 and 2018 under current head coach Jay Wright.
On November 23rd, the Bruins get the rematch everyone has been waiting for when they take on the Gonzaga Bulldogs in Las Vegas. The Bulldogs defeated the Bruins in the Final Four semifinals, 93-90 in overtime, on a 40-foot bank shot from mid-court by Jalen Suggs at the buzzer. The game featured 15 ties and 19 lead changes.
The Bruins return everyone from that squad, while the Bulldogs loss Suggs and forward Corey Kispert to the NBA draft but have reloaded with a couple of five-star recruits, including the No.1 ranked player in the country in center Chet Holmgren. Katz has the Bulldogs ranked at No. 2 in his Power 36 rankings.
Four days later in Las Vegas, the Bruins will take on the UNLV Runnin' Rebels. UNLV is always tough at home and returns guard Bryce Hamilton, who led the Rebels in scoring last season at 17.9 points per game. The Colorado Buffaloes visit Pauley Pavilion in early December in an early season conference game, followed by a road trip to Seattle and a tangle with the always tough Washington Huskies.
On Saturday, December 11, the Bruins travel to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to the take on the Marquette Golden Eagles of the Big East Conference. The Bruins defeated the Golden Eagles 69-60 in Pauley Pavilion last season. A week later, the Bruins will return to Las Vegas to battle the talented North Carolina Tar Heels in a nationally televised game on CBS on Saturday, December 18. Katz has the Tar Heels ranked No. 14 in his Power 36 rankings.
This challenging schedule should have the Bruins ready for the rest of the conference play in January. The Bruins are heavy favorites to return to the Final Four in March, but this schedule should serve as a reminder that it will not be an easy task.