Pac-12 links: Will there be a 2016 bowl game in Australia?

» College football teams will play in 42 bowl games to close out the 2015 season. If Australian officials have their way, the 43rd will be in Melbourne in 2016, hosting squads from the Pac-12 and Mountain West.

» Washington lost explosive receiver John Ross III to yet another injury, one that will sideline him for the entire 2015 season.

» Salt Lake Tribune columnist Kurt Kragthorpe, the son of a former college coach, muses on whether or not salaries are nearing a tipping point. Continue reading

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UCLA likely out of NCAA Tournament after loss to Arizona

Heading into last night’s game between UCLA and Arizona in the Pac-12 Tournament semifinal, ESPN’s Joe Lunardi had the Bruins as one of his first four teams out of the Big Dance. Their eventual 70-64 loss at the MGM Grand Garden Arena likely seals that fate.

Here’s a roundup of our coverage from Las Vegas on Friday night:

— UCLA will probably miss March Madness for the third time in six years, but one or two possessions could have changed all that.
— Mark Whicker’s column on the fight the Bruins showed at Arizona, even if they fell just short.
— The game story from UCLA’s loss to the Wildcats, the second team this season that the team faded late in a close contest against its conference rival.

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Arizona 70, UCLA 64: Kevon Looney on playing with facemask

After sustaining a facial fracture against USC on Thursday, UCLA freshman Kevon Looney wasn’t cleared to play until two hours before Friday’s 6 p.m. tipoff against Arizona. With a facemask on, however, he had trouble seeing and was wary of being hit again.

The Bruins lost 70-64, and the forward finished with five points, four rebounds and an assist in 30 minutes.

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UCLA’s Kevon Looney a game-time decision against Arizona

UPDATE: Kevon Looney’s injury is a facial fracture, but he has been cleared to play with a protective mask. He will gauge his comfort level in warm-ups, and is still officially listed as a “game-time decision” to play against Arizona.
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UCLA might have its most talented player ready for its biggest game of the season.

Freshman forward Kevon Looney (facial injury) is a game-time decision for the Bruins tonight at 6 p.m. against Arizona in the Pac-12 Tournament semifinal, head coach Steve Alford told CBS Sports. Looney had averaged 12.3 points and 9.5 rebounds per game before taking a blow to the face 10 minutes into Thursday’s win over USC. UCLA remains on the NCAA Tournament bubble, with a chance at a bid likely hinging on whether or not it can beat the top-seeded Wildcats.

“He got hit in the face pretty hard,” point guard Bryce Alford said yesterday. “He had a pretty swollen eye. He looked all right, though, right after he got hit.”

Center Tony Parker was in a more jocular mood: “Not worried. He’s already ugly.”

The likely NBA lottery pick also grabbed the Bruins’ only offensive rebound against Arizona — the nation’s best defensive rebounding team — in a 57-47 loss at the McKale Center last month.

If Looney isn’t ready, the team will likely start freshman Gyorgy Goloman. The 6-foot-10 reserve averages 1.5 points and 1.5 rebounds in 10.9 minutes per game, but had six points, seven rebounds and three assists in 28 minutes against the Trojans.

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