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.

UCLA medal winners: Dawn Harper, gold (track, 100m Hurdles); Monique Henderson, gold (track, 4x400m relay); Lauren Cheney, gold (USA soccer); Mark Hunter, gold (rowing, lightweight double sculls); Sheena Tosta, silver (track, 400m Hurdles); Andrea Duran, silver (USA softball); Tairia Flowers, silver (USA softball); Stacey Nuveman, silver (USA softball); Natasha Watley, silver (USA softball); Adam Wright, silver (USA men’s water polo); Brandon Brooks, silver (USA men’s water polo);  Natalie Golda, silver (USA women’s water polo); Jaime Hipp, silver (USA women’s water polo); Kim Vandenberg, bronze (swimming, 4×200 relay); Tanya Harding, bronze (Australia softball).

WEEKEND UPDATE:

Sorry I didn’t get to this sooner. I was gone and/or busy all weekend. This is my final scheduled update of this post. If I have time this week, I’ll put up a special post recapping the medal winners.

Track and Field: Saturday, UCLA’s Monique Henderson ran the third leg for the USA 4×400 relay team that won the gold medal. It was Henderson’s second gold medal, she was also on the team that won in Athens. The team ran in 3:18.54. Congrats to Monique.

Men’s Water Polo Gold Medal game: Hungary 14, USA 10 — Hungary was the heavy favorite, as they’ve now won three straight gold medals. The U.S. team battled and kept it close until the fourth quarter. One bright spot for the U.S. was UCLA’s Brandon Brooks, who was the backup goalie but came into the game when the starter was struggling and made several big saves to keep the game close. Bruin Adam Wright had an assist. It’s USA’s first medal since 1988.

FULL LISTINGS BY SPORT:

Read the rest of this entry »

UCLA medalists so far: Dawn Harper, gold (track, 100m Hurdles); Lauren Cheney, gold (USA soccer); Mark Hunter, gold (rowing, lightweight double sculls); Sheena Tosta, silver (track, 400m Hurdles); Andrea Duran, silver (USA softball); Tairia Flowers, silver (USA softball); Stacey Nuveman, silver (USA softball); Natasha Watley, silver (USA softball); Natalie Golda, silver (USA women’s water polo); Jaime Hipp, silver (USA women’s water polo); Kim Vandenberg, bronze (swimming, 4×200 relay); Tanya Harding, bronze (Australia softball); Adam Wright, medal TBD (USA men’s water polo in gold medal game); Brandon Brooks, medal TBD (USA men’s water polo in gold medal game).

FRIDAY UPDATE:

Men’s Water Polo Semifinals: USA 10, Serbia 5 — The U.S. advances to the Gold Medal Game against Hungary (Sunday, 12:40 a.m.). UCLA’s Adam Wright had three assists and two steals. The fourth quarter will be replayed on NBC tonight. The U.S. has not been to the gold medal game in men’s water polo since 1988. Hungary has won the last two gold medals.

Track and Field: UCLA’s Monique Henderson ran on the USA 4×400 relay team that finished first in their qualifying round in a time of 3:22.45. The relay team advances to the finals (Saturday, 5:40 a.m.) where they will have a good chance to medal. The qualifying win is scheduled to be shown on NBC tonight, the final should be on NBC Saturday night.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR THIS WEEKEND:

Notes: I might not have time to update this again until Sunday. Both remaining events are good medal opportunities. The 4×400 relays will be on NBC Saturday night, the water polo final will be on NBC Sunday sometime between 12 and 4.

Saturday, 5:40 a.m. — Track and Field: 4×400 Relay finals (Henderson)
Sunday, 12:40 a.m. — Men’s Water Polo: Gold Medal Game, USA vs. Hungary (Brooks, Wright)

FULL RESULTS BY SPORT:

Read the rest of this entry »

UCLA medalists so far: Dawn Harper, gold (track, 100m Hurdles); Lauren Cheney, gold (USA soccer); Mark Hunter, gold (rowing, lightweight double sculls); Sheena Tosta, silver (track, 400m Hurdles); Andrea Duran, silver (USA softball); Lisa Fernandez, silver (USA softball); Tairia Flowers, silver (USA softball); Stacey Nuveman, silver (USA softball); Natasha Watley, silver (USA softball); Natalie Golda, silver (USA water polo); Jaime Hipp, silver (USA water polo); Kim Vandenberg, bronze (swimming, 4×200 relay); Tanya Harding, bronze (Australia softball).

THURSDAY UPDATE:

Women’s Soccer Gold Medal Game: USA 1, Brazil 0 (OT) — Team USA pulled the upset to win the gold medal, with Carli Lloyd scoring the game-winner in the 96th minute. UCLA’s Lauren Cheney came in as a sub in the 71st minute and played well the rest of the game. Current UCLA head coach Jill Ellis was an assistant coach for Team USA.

Softball Gold Medal Game: Japan 3, USA 1 — Yes, you read that score right. In what has to be one of the biggest upsets in Olympic softball history, Japan beat a U.S. team that had dominated up until that point. The irony is that one of the reasons the IOC voted to discontinue softball at the Olympics was that the U.S. was too dominant. And in what might be the last Olympic softball game ever, the U.S. lost. Natasha Watley was the only Bruin with a hit. UCLA’s Andrea Duran, Tairia Flowers, Stacey Nuveman and Lisa Fernandez also get silver medals.

Women’s Water Polo Gold Medal Game: Netherlands 9, USA 8 — Netherlands scored the game-winner with 26 seconds left. Bruin Natalie Golda scored a goal. The U.S. was actually down 4-0 at one point. UCLA’s Jaime Hipp also played on the U.S. team, which was coached by former UCLA coach Guy Baker.

Track and Field: UCLA’s Amy Acuff finished ninth in her high jump qualifying rounds and does not advance to the final.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR EARLY TOMORROW:

Notes: There isn’t much left, most of the Bruins have finished up their sports. The only events today are early tomorrow morning.

4:40 a.m. — Men’s Water Polo: Semfinals, USA vs. Serbia (Brooks, Wright)
4:40 a.m. — Track and Field: 4×400 Relay round 1 (Monique Henderson)

REST OF THE SCHEDULE BY DAY:

Read the rest of this entry »

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