After holding off No. 19 BYU last night, UCLA is now firmly planted in the national spotlight.
The team will play Arizona on ABC this coming Saturday at 5 p.m., with ESPN College GameDay setting up in Tucson for the Bruins’ second straight top-20 matchup.
A 24-10 loss at Stanford dropped UCLA just outside the national top 10. The Bruins are ranked No. 12 in the Associated Press poll, and No. 11 in the USA Today Coaches poll.
The first BCS rankings, to be released tonight, will factor in the latter.
Stanford moved up to eighth in both polls after spoiling UCLA’s perfect record, becoming the highest-ranked one-loss team in the country. Undefeated Oregon held steady at No. 2 after cruising to a 62-38 win over Washington State.
The Bruins’ blemished record did little to dissuade ESPN College GameDay, which will travel to Eugene for Saturday’s 4 p.m. clash between UCLA and Oregon. Continue reading
Ben Howland has missed the NCAA tournament twice in three years, something that has only happened to UCLA two other times since 1960. Once celebrated as one of the top coaches in the country, Howland’s critics have grown loud this season — the most prominent being Bill Walton.
Still, ESPN analyst Jay Bilas said the 10th-year coach deserves to stay, dismissing the speculation around Howland’s job as “unreasonableness.”
From a Q&A with the Daily Bruin:
I think it’s stupid. Absolutely stupid. If the people here, who love UCLA, want to destabilize a really good situation, they’re doing a good job. Ben Howland’s gone to three Final Fours. The rest of the Pac-12 coaches combined have gone to one. One. ‘Oh, I don’t like his style.’ Well, they’re leading the league in scoring. So if you don’t like his style, you don’t like anybody in the league.
There’s been a high standard set here, and there’s some unreasonableness that goes along with that. Continue reading
If you weren’t among those camping out for ESPN College GameDay early this morning, you missed out on Ben Howland and Shabazz Muhammad trying their hand at beer pong.
From the Daily Bruin live blog: