Bruins win outright Pac-12 title

UCLA has won the Pac-12 regular season championship for the first time since 2008.

The Bruins clinched a share of the title with a 61-54 win over turnover-prone Washington, their first road victory over the Huskies since 2004. A few minutes later, Utah finished off Oregon with a 10-point win in Salt Lake City, leaving UCLA alone at the top of the conference.

Again, the team can thank senior point guard Larry Drew II, who has put in an impressive one-year stint in blue and gold. A month after hitting a game-winner against UW, Drew came up with a key steal and a layup that stretched the lead to five points with 32.6 seconds left.

“I’m sure I still have plenty of doubters,” the former UNC transfer said earlier this week. “I plan on erasing those as well sometime in the near future.”

The school’s new single-season assist leader finished with seven points and six assists. Freshman Shabazz Muhammad also went on a scoring tear late in the second half, accounting for seven of his team’s nine points as he put in a game-high 21 on 8-of-17 shooting.

UCLA exploited Washington’s season-long struggle with to take care of the ball, outscoring the Huskies 29-9 in points off turnovers.

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  • Michael Daly

    Congratulations to Coach Ben Howland and the UCLA Bruins, Pac 12 Champions.

  • http://twitter.com/have2comment x

    Congratulations, Bruins!

  • maze949

    Right on! Got that monkey off our backs in Seattle! GO BRUINS!

  • Reformed Droog

    I am making a preemptive plea that NOBODY FEED THE TROLL – in this thread or any other. (I think we all know who I’m talking about.) It’s getting harder and harder to read what real fans have to say about the team.

    Thank you.

    • maze949

      Good call! =)

    • Bigwoof1

      Oops,sorry. Saw the other post before yours – will try to reserve future feedings, even if the food is crow.

  • Randy Part

    I was hoping for a split in Washington. It was the opposite of what I thought it would be. No one swept us. We got four sweeps. We earned it!

  • http://www.facebook.com/sakatalaw Cliff Sakata

    It’s a good day to be a UCLA Bruin! Doesn’t mean quite as much as it did before the PAC 12 tourney was instituted though.

  • Mark

    This is fool’s gold, people. So what! We’re not going anywhere in the NCAA tournament. If this team had some cornerstones to build on, I’d feel differnetly, but we have to start from scratch next year. Drew, Muhammed, Anderson, and Parker are all gone. You just can’t win that way.

    Ucla is about championships, and this outcome has delayed any hope of that for at least another 5 years. Howland’s approach will always prevent Ucla from being elite.

    So, if you’re satisfied with embarrassing losses and a PAC 10 title once in a year, celebrate like crazy. But I advise you to adopt another team to support in the NCAAs because Ucla will never be a major contender.

    • Bigwoof1

      I could hear you crying a half hour ago, Mark. BOO HOO!!

    • FreeShabazz

      Suck it Mark!!!!!!!

    • miker%buffspec.com

      I’m happier about the win than I am about your discomfort. But it’s close.
      MichaelRyerson

      • Mark

        Are you happy that Ucla will continue to be mediocre for years to come now?

        • miker%buffspec.com

          Short answer? You’re still a bonehead. Slightly longer answer? Your definition of mediocre is when we balance a team of freshmen without an available healthy center, win the conference outright and continue to attract and develop NBA ready talent? Howland? He never hesitated to be enthusiastic and supportive when they put the Pauley renovation in motion even though it would mean he would have an entire season of away games. He never embarrasses his players, doesn’t shift the blame to them even when they probably deserve some, teaches NBA skills, and his doghouse(?) who here can see what goes on in practice or what the medical team is telling him or what damage is being done at the dinner table. He’s an honorable guy and his ex-players stand by him. As for you, you should do yourself a favor, really, and go over to bruinsnation where your carping is seen as manly.

          • Mark

            You guys need to understand something: You win in college with college players. Our players dont need NBA skills, they need college basketball skills. NBA talent means nothing if the guys aren’t around long enough to grow together and build cohesion. I’m so sick and tired of hearing about Ucla guys in the NBA. It hasn’t gotten us any championships lately.

          • miker%buffspec.com

            What about we just won the conference outright don’t you understand? Isn’t that ‘winning in college’? the comments concerning Howland’s uncanny ability to prepare players for the NBA are meant to preempt your frequent mewing about his ‘inability’ to develop players.
            MichaelRyerson

    • EncinitasBruin

      Hey Tydides (or maybe you are Nestor), why don’t you have the ball@s to climb out from behind your fake name, and admit you are one of the Hit@ler Youth from BN. I am psychically “banning you” for being an idiot. You are not welcome here, and you are not a true Bruin fan.

      • RepuBruin

        You don’t have to be a supporter of BN to agree with Mark. Personally, I think those guys running BN (with some exceptions) are tools, but the sad truth of the matter is, Mark is right. This team won’t be doing much in the tourney. They could lose in the first round if the come up against an opponent with a good big man. I hope I’m wrong! But I’m a realist.

  • Rob M

    Go Bruins! So, CBH finishes the season with a league title, despite being wildly inconsistent again. (Expected when you depend so heavily on 3 freshmen.) So, where does it leave the team now? I think we have to wait and see… (again). Pac12 tourney, then the Dance… Is a Pac12 final+Sweet Sixteen enough for CBH to keep his job? I think it should depend more on if he can convince Kyle Anderson and Tony Parker to stay… With such a weak draft class this year, KA might be tempted to make the mistake and leave too early (a la Malcolm Lee/Tyler Honeycutt).

  • Marc

    Nice win. And top seed in the tourney as well. Holy cow.

    I guess I have to take back all the curse words I said during the telecast.

    Ben can fly back with the kids, also.

    But, if they fall on their faces in Vegas I have a new quirky “finding yourself” independent film idea: Ben Howland must walk the strip dejected at 3:00 am and stay the nightn one of those seedy motels off the strip. One suit, no shower, and $100 in his pocket.

  • delpha100

    Nice photo, Jack. Thanks for posting. Congrats to the Bruins on winning the conference, especially with starting 3 freshmen. Finished higher than the experts predicted in conference.

  • Go Bruinz

    Lol, the thought of N’Diaye doing push ups and the UW fans chanting “Overrated” makes me have a hearty chuckle. Congrats to our Bruins! After the tumultuous start to the season, winning the Pac-12 is quite an achievement. Congrats to Drew II as well!!

    • maze949

      That made it extra sweet!

  • samollie

    Congrats Bruins. The losers on BN are literally picking apart the pic, trying to read their agenda into into one moment in time like they know all. I hope they visit these comments and realize how pathetic those sheep are and what a disgrace they are to the majority of alumni.

  • Marc

    @Tony Parker,

    Sorry the season didn’t go well for you. Ben Howland is one of those coaches where you can’t work your way out of his dog house no matter how hard you try. Not sure what you did to get in his doghouse (injury?), but his mishandling of you has got to be one of his worst performances over the last several years. And that’s saying a lot, because he has lots of bad performances. It truly is a shame.

    I feel that Ben needs to be publicly dressed down by the media over his handling of this kid who will most likely transfer after the season and likely thrive wherever he ends up. Where’s T.J. Simers when you need him?

    • Michael Daly

      I would have liked to see Tony play more, but I can’t say that he really earned more minutes based on what he did when he was in the game. He looked completely lost on defense and very unsure on offense.

      • Marc

        I don’t believe that’s a fair assessment. He gets one or two minutes a game; far too small of a sample size to get any real tangible results. In the one game that he got extended minutes (the win over USC) he played very well.

        He came in the Washington game and picked up a foul in the post and never saw the floor again. That is B.S. in my opinion. For one, UCLA does not have any post defense; a good hard foul is as good or better than the layup drills they usually allow. Also, Washington was not hitting free throws and UCLA was not in foul trouble of any kind. If coach disagrees, fine, but take him out, talk to him (or an assistant talk to him) and then get him back out there. Seriously, Tony Parker is only the most recent (and glaring) example of this type of behavior by Ben Howland, and it is perhaps the one that angers me the most. It does not lead to player development; rather, it leads to player resentment.

        I fully stand by my statement that Ben Howland needs to be publicly dressed down for this particular behavior of his. It is bad behavior.

        • Michael Daly

          He did play well in the USC game. But really the goal is to win the game, and put the players that have shown in practice and during games that they can succeed. He is just not there yet, IMHO, and apparently in Howland’s. It is not about stroking egos. Having said that, I do think Howland needs to work on his communication skills and motivate the players who are not getting time better and get them on board. Unfortunately the guys who don’t get time all seem to want to jump ship.

          • Mark

            Which is one of my biggest issues with Howland. Stanback and Moser in particular went on to be really good COLLEGE players. They left pretty early on so it’s partially on them to have not been patient enough to see the long view. However, it’s Howland’s job to chart a course for each player and show him how he’s going to contribute over four years. On the one hand, leaving after one year likely demonstrates wanting immediate gratification and not getting it. On the other hand, transferring means you have to sit a year. So, for a player to leave and sit out a year must mean he doesn’t see any chance of his situation improving. I’ll be really mad if Tony Parker goes to Georgia and ends up on the All SEC team in a few years.

    • Mark

      If you feel this way the you should join up to my way of thinking…

      • Marc

        I’m not that strident in my position or approach. I am a passionate fan, as my cohorts in section 22 at the Rosebowl can surely attest. But, I want this team to win and do well. I get upset at many things Ben Howland does and am definitely on the side of finding a replacement. But I will cheer for the Bruins until the final whistle blows.

        • EncinitasBruin

          Hey, I’m section 22, Row 18. What row are you?

          • Marc

            Row 37. Section 22 is the best section for raving fans of UCLA football. We go absolutely nuts during football games. Cheering like wild for our Bruins and dishing out the best in lighthearted insults at our opponents.

      • EncinitasBruin

        Tydides, you are not welcome here. Go drink some more of your anti-Bruin Kool-Aid over at BN.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dave.d.kim David Kim

    I would’ve loved to have seen these kids win some of the ones that got away. Still, to bounce back and win the title shows a ton of resilience. Nobody, including the dukes and indianas of the tourney field looks dominant. Optimistic that if we get the right draw we can make some noise in the dance. Go bruins.

  • EncinitasBruin

    To Tydides, Nestor, and the rest of the Hit*ler Youth on BN: take your hate cross-town. Real Bruins celebrate a Pac 12 Championship, and don’t whine incessantly about firing the coach. In November you guys were all giddy about Smith and Lamb leaving, about the Cal Poly loss, and basically calling for CBH’s head midseason. This team has GUTS and HEART, and CBH took four freshmen and three NC transfers and molded them into a scrappy team that learned how to win. Very proud of these gentlemen. Go Bruins!

    • http://twitter.com/FatBooster Joe Blow

      Zzzzzzzzz

  • http://www.facebook.com/richard.thornton.904 Richard Thornton

    It’s weird how the language butchers at BN, who apparently never proof read anything while scratching and ripping the team and coach, can turn a hard-earned win into a pathetic defeat.