UCLA 6 seed in Philly?

March 16, 2009

Could there have been a worst scenario for UCLA on Selection Sunday than playing a good mid-major in the first round and potentially playing a 3 seed in their home city in the second round?

There is still a chance UCLA can win the Pac-10 and get the #1 seed at the Pac-10 Tournament.

All it takes is:

UCLA beats Oregon
Washington State beats Washington

However, there are different reasons for why UCLA would win the tiebreaker, depending on the Cal/Arizona State result.

Scenario #1: Cal beats ASU

This would put UCLA and Washington tied for first at 13-5, with the first tiebreaker being head-to-head, where the teams split. The next tiebreaker would be results against the next best team, which in this case would be Cal, finishing third. UCLA swept Cal, Cal swept Washington, so UCLA would get the #1 seed

Scenario #2: Arizona State beats Cal

In this scenario, UCLA and UW would be tied at 13-5 and would still be tied in the first tiebreaker, head-to-head. Cal and Arizona State would be tied for third at 11-7 and under Pac-10 rules, you take head-to-head results against tied teams as a group, and UCLA and Washington both went 2-2 against these schools. So the next tiebreakers would be head-to-head results against the next best team. Both UCLA and Washington would’ve split against Washington State, split against Arizona, swept USC, swept Oregon State, swept Stanford and swept Oregon.

Here’s the Pac-10 tiebreaker rules I copied out of their media guide (PDF):

1. Two-team tie
a. Results of head-to-head competition during the regular season.
b. Each team’s record vs. the team occupying the highest position in the final regular standings, and then continuing down through the standings
until one team gains an advantage.
When arriving at another group of tied teams while comparing records, use each team’s record against the collective tied teams as a group (prior
to that group’s own tie-breaking procedure), rather than the performance against individual tied teams.
c. Won-lost percentage against all Division I opponents.
d. Coin toss conducted by the Commissioner or designee.

a) and b) would be even as I established already. For the whole season, UCLA would be 24-7 and Washington would be 23-8, so UCLA would get the #1 seed by tiebreaker c).

And to think, with one more non-conference win from Washington or one more non-conference loss from UCLA, this could’ve gone to a coin toss.

Off-topic self-promotion: I have a new post up at Bugs & Cranks too.

USC has been to a BCS bowl every season since 2002. Since then, the Trojans have inflicted their wrath on the entire college football nation, with their annoying bandwagon fans and every game and player being overhyped.

They must be stopped. It’s all up to the Bruins on Saturday.

Oregon State’s loss to Oregon on Saturday means that a USC win on Saturday and they’re going to the Rose Bowl. Again. If UCLA pulls off the upset, a BCS berth would be unlikely, and USC will most likely be stuck with the Holiday Bowl.

Are the Bruins huge underdogs? Yes. They’re 31-point underdogs right now. But they have a chance.

This may sound ridiculous, but the upset can happen. UCLA’s defense has looked good lately, and they only allowed six points to Arizona State on Friday. I know the offense allowed four defensive touchdowns, but look at it this way — that’s almost never happened before in NCAA history. The odds of them being that bad again and lightning striking twice are slim. The defense has a chance to stop USC. It’s up to Kevin Craft not to throw interceptions and the offense not to completely give away the game.

While unlikely, I can see UCLA winning a game by a score like 9-6 or 10-7. I can’t see UCLA winning 31-28 or something like that.

It’s not over until it’s over. You’ve gotta believe. Yes we can!

USC would be almost respectable if they were running a clean program over there, but they’re not. Bruins Nation has a handy list of all of the scandals at USC over the last few years (you’d be surprised at how many you’ve either forgotten about or didn’t hear about).

It’s up to the Bruins to stop USC. It’ll be tough, but it can happen.

Hey, I’ve been gone from here in a while, but I’m back. Let’s see if I stick around this time.

Football: Yes, the Oregon State game was painful to watch, especially the end. Yes, the Bruins look horrible lately. But I’m not ready to concede this season yet. You can call me crazy if you want. But consider the following: UCLA is 3-6 with three games left, and two of those three are against teams below them in the standings. While we can’t expect the Bruins to beat Washington and Arizona State, they certainly have a chance to, even as bad as they have looked. And if UCLA can pull it off, they’ll be 5-6 heading into the USC game, and anything can happen in a rivalry game, right? At least, that’s what I keep telling myself.

Women’s soccer: It’s that time of the year when the postseason for the fall sports starts. The women’s soccer NCAA brackets have been released (PDF File) and UCLA got a #1 seed in its region, meaning that if the Bruins keep winning, they will host the first four rounds (every round until the Final Four, called the College Cup in soccer).

UCLA (18-0-2) hosts Fresno State (11-6-2) on Friday, and if they win, UCLA would host the winner of San Diego (14-4-2) and Long Beach State (14-3-4) on Sunday.

Men’s Basketball: The season starts on Wednesday! Yes! It might only be a game against Prairie View A&M, but it’s finally a chance to see the Bruins in a real game. The game is part of the 2K Sports Classic, and these preseason tournaments are fun if only for two reasons:

1) Likely to see some good matchups in the second week of the tournament
2) More home games for UCLA.

Hopefully, I’ll have much more on basketball as the season goes on.

UCLA lost to Fresno State. That was no surprise.

But UCLA put up 31 points. Considering how bad the Bruin offense looked against BYU and Arizona, that was a huge surprise. 

There is no such thing is a moral victory. A loss is a loss, and I’m disappointed that the Bruins lost. But I’m not nearly as down as I was after the BYU and Arizona games. I have hope now that this team might not be that bad the rest of the season and could win a few games. I didn’t have that hope before today.

It was the defense that blew the game, giving up 36 points and completely unable to stop Fresno State when it counted the most on the final never-ending drive. But that’s not a reason to be concerned yet. Usually, it’s UCLA’s good defense that bails out its bad offense, or at least keeps the game close. This is the first time I can think in recent years that it was the other way around, and the defense has a lot of young players. If they’re still this bad by the end of the season, there’s a problem, but one rare bad game when the offense does well will happen once in a while. It does to other teams at least.

UCLA plays Washington State next week, and I’m actually confident the Bruins can win. How about that for a change?

How bad it’s gotten for UCLA

September 25, 2008

Apparently, the UCLA athletic department is advertising in Fresno, encouraging Fresno State fans to come to the Rose Bowl for Saturday’s game. UCLA has bought ads in the Fresno Bee and in radio ads in Fresno, encouaging people to come see the game (hat-tip both times to Bruins Nation).

Yikes.

I can’t say I blame them for trying to make more money. But this just looks terrible. Could you imagine any other major program doing this?

Thoughts from Saturday

September 14, 2008

First things first — I was thrilled to see Francisco Rodriguez get his 58th save, breaking the MLB record. Read my full post about it at Bugs & Cranks.

I thought it was kind of funny to see Micah Owings get the game-winning, pinch-hit RBI double for the Reds against the Diamondbacks. He was acquired from Arizona earlier in the week to complete the Adam Dunn trade. Owings, as you’ll remember, is primarily a pitcher (but a great hitter for a pitcher) and was used only as a pinch-hitter tonight by the Reds, not a pitcher.

Must USC win every big game by a lot?

And UCLA … oy. I’m trying to avoid talking about them. We had to know this was going to be a tough season, and that opening win against Tennessee just gave us false hope. But 59-0? That was one of the worst UCLA games I’ve ever seen, if not the worst. Well, just like the message coach Rick Neuheisel gave to his players after the game, “Adversity Builds Character.” (Hat-tip to Bruins Nation) I’m giving UCLA and Neuheisel the benefit of the doubt this season, since they have little talent. I’m confident this team will be good in a couple of years. It’s just tough to watch right now.

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