Saturday, 5 a.m., Westwood … Not a CalTrans road closure, but a diversion to Pauley

UCLA’s last home basketball game of the season Saturday night (6 p.m., ESPN) actually begins 13 hours earlier.

ESPN’s College GameDay studio show (above, with Rece Davis,  Jalen Rose, Digger Phelps and Jay Bilas) will come out of Pauley Pavilion starting at 7 a.m. on ESPNU and continues at 8 a.m. on ESPN. Then it’s back at 5 p.m. on ESPN, leading into the game telecast.

Will Pauley be empty? Nope. UCLA said that fans will be allowed to enter the arena for the morning show as early as 5 a.m. Admission is free but “fans must wear blue or UCLA gear to be admitted,” the school said.

Bilas, who will come back later to call the game that night with Dan Shulman and Samantha Ponder, said he’s been concerned about whether UCLA fans will show up that early.

“The last time we were at UCLA it was phenomenal, they had a great turnout,” he said. “They love giving Digger a hard time. He calls Pauley his second home.

“I live in Charlotte, North Carolina and not a day goes by when I don’t miss Southern California. So I’m always asking, “Why can’t we do it outside?” In football season, you’re doing that. So what if it’s dark and 60 degrees out.”

If UCLA fans are having trouble sleeping during the game, maybe the thought of seeing this next week willl wake things up. (Nice diversity of players, too, modeling the jerseys).

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