Cal State Northridge v UCLA

UCLA out-numbered at Wooden Classic

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It’s no secret that UCLA is facing some tough times.

After last seasons’ debacle and this season beginning with Shabazz Muhammad’s eligibility dispute, a loss at home to Cal Poly and Tyler Lamb, THEN Josh Smith leaving the program, it’s safe to say that even with a top-rated recruiting class, the Bruins have essentially picked up where they left off.

Well Bill Dwyre of the L.A. Times writes a piece that doesn’t help. Looks like UCLA was even out-supported by San Diego State in, of all events, the Wooden Classic.

Not only was the winner the other guys, a San Diego State team that, while recently very good, has never had, nor even pondered having, a UCLA swagger. But this game that was played in Anaheim, in UCLA’s metro area and the site of four victories and no defeats last season as the Bruins floated from one borrowed home to another while Pauley Pavilion was being renovated, was called the Wooden Classic. The name alone makes it UCLA’s house. Teams in other uniforms are visitors, no matter how short the drive.

And then, San Diego State, both team and fans, stormed the gates and captured the fort.

The game was a 78-69 victory for the Aztecs, and no one should be surprised. Steve Fisher’s bunch is long, athletic and ready to make a prime push for a deep NCAA Tournament run behind Mountain West preseason Player of the Year Jamaal Franklin.

But UCLA fans, at least in their hey-day, traveled insanely well. Almost to Kentucky basketball numbers. They won and they made sure you heard about it afterward.

There’s definitely a stigma that comes with losing, and a majority of fanbases feel it. No one wants to travel to a game that no one thinks their team will win.

This one though, is on Howland. He’s a has way too much going on within this program. Some thought that purging a few players off a few bad teams might help, and that verdict is still out. But regardless, if the fans stop showing up, that is the first sign that a coach could be on his way out. Money makes everything go in major college sports.

No wins? No fans. No fans? No money. No money? No big contracts. And even more importantly, no job.

David Harten is the editor of The Backboard Chronicles. You can follow him on Twitter at @David_Harten.

VIDEO: Monmouth hits a game-winner, Bench Mob member tries to disrobe

King Rice
AP
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Monmouth used a 17-2 run in the final minutes to beat Rider on Friday night, a win that will keep the Hawks within striking distance of the kind of an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament should they fall in the MAAC tourney.

The run was capped by star point guard Justin Robinson, who buried this three with three seconds left to put Monmouth up for good, 79-78:

No. 17 Arizona erases double-digit deficit to beat UCLA

Arizona coach Sean Miller reacts to a foul call during the first half of Arizona's NCAA college basketball game against UCLA, Friday, Feb 12, 2016, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
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Allonzo Trier scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half and Parker Jackson-Cartwright scored 16 points in his second career start as No. 17 Arizona knocked off UCLA, 81-75, in Tucson on Friday night.

UCLA was up by as much as 11 points in the first half and took a ten point lead into half time, but in the second half, the Bruins were eventually done in by foul trouble and the stronger front line of the Wildcats.

Ryan Anderson and Kaleb Tarczewski were dominant down the stretch. The duo combined to score 12 of the last 23 point for the Wildcats, including the bucket that put the Wildcats ahead for the first time since early in the first half. Off of a missed free throw, UCLA’s Thomas Welsh battled with Tarczewski for the rebound, but when Welsh finally seemed to gain control of the loose ball, Anderson knocked it out of his hands and bullied through Jonah Bolden for a layup.

All told, those two combined for 20 points and 27 boards, seven of which were offensive. They also managed to foul out both Welsh and Tony Parker, although some of the calls that went against UCLA down the stretch were questionable.

The win keeps Arizona within a game of first place Oregon in the Pac-12 standings and tied for second with No. 23 USC, who will be visiting the McKale Center on Sunday night.