UCLA blows out Oregon in Pac-12 quarterfinal

LAS VEGAS — UCLA’s high-flying offense is back.

A week after shooting 33.3 percent in an ugly loss at Washington State to end the regular season, the Bruins couldn’t miss in a 82-63 blowout of Oregon.

In what was arguably the most highly anticipated of the Pac-12 Tournament’s second day, UCLA turned a quarterfinal matchup into its own personal billboard. Continue reading

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Five questions: What does UCLA need to do in its Pac-12 tourney opener?

UCLA will open its Las Vegas schedule against a red-hot Oregon team that has won eight straight games. If nothing else, the matchup between the Pac-12′s two top offenses could result in the most entertaining game yet at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Here are five key questions heading into Thursday’s 6 p.m. quarterfinal.

1. How will Jordan Adams play? UCLA’s top scorer has run hot and cold this season, most recently following up a career-high 31 points against Washington with seven against Washington State.

The sophomore’s point totals have ebbed and flowed along with the Bruins’ wins and losses. Continue reading

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UCLA to face No. 7-seed Oregon in Pac-12 quarterfinals

UCLA will open the Pac-12 Tournament against Oregon, setting up a rubber match on Thursday after a split regular-season series.

The Ducks earned a spot in the 6 p.m. quarterfinal after putting on an offensive clinic against Oregon State on Wednesday night. The conference’s most prolific offense had a 21-4 run in the first half, and a 17-2 run in the second. It shot 80 percent after halftime, outscoring the Beavers 47-34.

Dana Altman got 46 points off his bench, with 27 coming from Jason Calliste and Dominic Artis. The latter had arguably his best game of the season, notching a 10 points and a season-high six assists.

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VIDEOS: Bruins talk to media after double-overtime loss to Oregon

Head coach Steve Alford, after the Bruins forced double overtime without their two best players: “I don’t know if I’ve been more proud of a basketball team during a regular season game.”

David Wear walks through his buzzer-beating 3-pointer, one that came off an inbounds pass from twin brother Travis with 1.2 seconds left in regulation. Continue reading

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UCLA forces double-overtime thriller in 87-83 loss to Oregon

Pauley Pavilion nearly saw a miracle.

With 1:01 left on the game clock, UCLA was down seven points and missing its two best players.

The Bruins clawed their way through 11 more minutes, eventually falling 87-83 to Oregon in double overtime. Along the way, they left fans with arguably the most memorable game of the season.

Three hours before the 8 p.m. tipoff, the team had announced the suspensions of point guard Kyle Anderson and leading scorer Jordan Adams.

With little time the prepare, UCLA (21-7, 10-5) went almost the entire first half without an inside bucket and walked into the locker room in a 12-point hole.

No matter. With 1.2 seconds left in regulation, David Wear snuck behind the Ducks’ defense and streaked upcourt for a wide-open three. He caught an inbounds pass from his twin brother, Travis, and drilled a shot from some 30 feet away. Continue reading

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Alford talks up Oregon’s speed

UCLA’s Thursday trip to Oregon will pit the Bruins against the team most capable of matching their pace. The Ducks are 21st in the country in adjusted tempo, second in the conference to Steve Alford’s squad (15th).

“They play a lot of guards,” Alford said. “They usually have four guards in their lineup. Sometimes it looks like they have five guards in their lineup. … Our transition defense is going to come to a test.”

Oregon, which has lost four of their last five, rank 15th in adjusted offense — five spots above UCLA — but rank 130th in adjusted defense. Only Washington and Oregon State are worse in the Pac-12.

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Bellevue standout Budda Baker decommits from Oregon

Four-star safety Budda Baker has decommitted from Oregon, opening up the possibility that UCLA adds another defensive back to its 2014 class.

Baker had Washington and the Bruins as his two other finalists before announcing for the Ducks last month. He played with UCLA linebacker Myles Jack at Bellevue High, and actually helped Jack with his pass coverage last summer. Continue reading

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Pac-12 links: Former Ute succumbing to cancer

– Bronzell Miller might be dead by the time you read this. The former Utah linebacker is battling multiple myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cells, and may only have a week left to live.

– Bellevue standout and UCLA recruiting target Budda Baker is still waiting for the release of his brother Robert, imprisoned for first-degree robbery and possession of a firearm.

– How did Tad Boyle turn Colorado into a contender?

– “But the difference between being a head football coach in college and the NFL is like the difference between Wal-Mart and Wall Street.” Continue reading

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UCLA falls eight spots to No. 22 in polls

UCLA’s loss to Arizona State dropped the Bruins all the way down to No. 22 in both the Associated Press and USA Today coaches polls — just one spot ahead of USC.

The rivals face off at the Coliseum at 5 p.m. Saturday, with the Trojans opening as 3.5-point favorites.

After Oregon’s upset loss to Arizona, No. 8 Stanford now stands as the Pac-12′s lone top-10 team. The Ducks and ASU sit at 12th and 13th, respectively.

The full AP poll after the jump: Continue reading

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