Pac-12 Tournament Quarterfinals
Time: 3 p.m. ET
Venue: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, NV
Where to watch: PAC12
Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks
DraftKings: UCLA -8.5
FanDuel: UCLA -8.5
BetMGM: UCLA -8.5
Caesars: UCLA -8.5
No. 2 UCLA: 27-4
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Colorado - UCLA preview, prediction and analysis
You know I've talked about this a lot when it comes to baseball and I have talked about it when it comes to really any sport when it tends to trickle on for a long period of time. You don't really understand where teams come from and how they end up in the standings until you finally just sit in front of a computer or sit in front of your smartphone for a number of minutes and you realize that you never really expected a team to just suddenly be at the top of the country. And that brings me to the UCLA Bruins.
As UCLA begins its run in the PAC 12 tournament in Las Vegas this week, they will be taking on the Colorado Buffaloes in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament at T-Mobile arena. And you would be hard pressed for me to look out at UCLA and be pretty shocked that they are the second ranked team in the country. Not that I didn't think that they were good, but with all the hoopla surrounding the top 25 rankings this year, how in the world did UCLA find itself at #2 in the country?
I feel like with all of the talk that was surrounding this conference this year with the likes of Arizona, USC, even Oregon to some extent if they were going to try and make a run out of this, we didn't really look at UCLA enough. And part of that is probably my own ignorance and my own self indulgence of not really firmly believing that this team was actually going to do something this year, because as it ever relates to Mick Cronin, any team coached by him has all these aspirations and then they suddenly fall flat whenever expected.
But suddenly, UCLA finds itself in pristine position to lock down a number one seed in the NCAA tournament should it run the table. Because when I look at the way that this conference has unfolded this year, and my really sold on Arizona? Not really. Am I sold on the inconsistencies with USC? Likely not. Because I look at UCLA, now winners of 10 in a row, and I'm trying to figure out where in the world they went so far under the radar that they have just stormed to where they are now.
Is it something that we can fully determine that was plausible throughout the year? No. Because look at who's coaching this team. This is the same guy that when UCLA was playing bellarmine at T-Mobile arena last November, was so mad that they were only up 20 points that he lashed out at his team in the locker room and you could hear that through the thin walls inside the press room. This coach is unhinged, this coach will lash out at this team if they don't make it at least to the Sweet 16 and they very well could. But is it possible that they won't? absolutely because look who's coaching them.
But I promise you that that will not stop this team from getting to the semifinals and at least ensuring that we have a final four in this conference tournament that we can all be proud of. UCLA 80, Colorado 67
Projected starting lineup
PG: K.J. Simpson
SG: Nique Clifford
SF: Luke O'Brien
PF: Tristan Da Silva
C: Lawson Lovering
PG: Tyger Campbell
SG: Amari Bailey
SF: Jaylen Clark
PF: Jaime Jaquez Jr.
C: Adem Bona
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