March 8, 2007

UCLA Opens Conference Tournament

Last season the Bruins rode a four game winning streak into Staples Center and were able to take apart the competition in the pac-10 tournament by an average of 21 points per game. Following last week's embarrassing loss at Washington, UCLA is trying to get its swagger back and secure a better standing in the NCAA tournament.

Ben Howland and company used the tournament championship as a springboard to a magical NCAA tournament run which saw the team fall just short of a title. In this year's version of the annual downtown gathering, the Bruins aren't playing for as much as a season ago.

UCLA entered into last year's tournament with a regular season Pac-10 crown but an uncertain seeding for the big dance.

The Bruins were able to jump all the way up to a No. 2 seed in the West Region with the title, and while it's always good to be playing your best basketball at this time of year, UCLA has already secured a No. 1 seed for next week's tournament, and this weekend is more about getting the potential No. 1 overall seed for the madness.

The Bruins appeared to have a hold on that No. 1 overall seed before last weekend's loss to the Huskies and while the defeat didn't effect their top seeding in the West Region, it probably made this weekend's tournament an imperative win should the team want to draw the weakest No. 2 seed in the field of 65.

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