What's wrong with UCLA?
The Bruins have struggled beyond all expectations. Can they turn it around?
To be honest, I'm not sure why UCLA was ranked in the top 20 in the preseason in both major polls. You'd have to ask the pollsters about that. Apparently they saw something in the Bruins that other observers did not.
So in one sense, the fact that Ben Howland's team is nowhere to be seen in the polls as the Bruins open Pac-12 play isn't really a surprise, or at least it shouldn't be. But the route UCLA has traveled to reach this particular destination is one that even the most astute observer could never have foreseen. In a year when its arena, Pauley Pavilion, is unavailable as it undergoes major renovations, Howland's homeless team is 7-5. Unless something changes abruptly and dramatically, this team isn't going to make the NCAA tournament. It most likely will finish somewhere around .500 in Pac-12 play in a season when the conference, like the Bruins, is failing to live up to expectations.
How did this happen? And what happens next?
To read the full story about the struggling UCLA Bruins and all of our college hoops content, sign up for ESPN Insider.
MORE MEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL HEADLINES
- Game-worn MJ shoes from UNC sell for $33K
- Dayton dismisses pair for violation of rules
- Reserve Agau to transfer from No. 4 Louisville
- Diedhiou admitted to Minnesota, eligible to play
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
Insider College Basketball
New on Insider
Lunardi: Pac-12 locked into 2 bids?
Player Rankings: Davis over Robinson for POY
Lunardi: Where UW, Northwestern fall
Hume: Bid thieves are few
Bilas: Sizing up the Big East
Gasaway: Pac-12 stronger than it seems
Hume: Best bets among bubble teams
Lunardi: VCU may be first bid thief
Ford: Time running out for 5 NBA prospects
Lunardi: How UConn, Texas, others earn bids
Lunardi: Latest look at the bubble
Fraschilla: Previewing Big 12 tournament
Bilas Index: UNC remains at No. 3
Pomeroy: Trends predict UNC-Duke clash
Lunardi: No No. 1 seed for Big Ten?
Player Rankings: Purdue's pivotal players
Ford: Will MKG, Cody Zeller stay in school?
Gasaway: Rebounding won't crush Orange
Telep: UCLA's top recruits remain committed
Bilas: How Michigan State can still improve
Bilas: Keys to the Hoyas' continued success
Lunardi: Watch out for NCAA bid thieves
Lunardi Rundown: Kentucky is No. 1 overall
Bilas Index: Kansas returns to the top five
Make smart bracket picks by spotting Cinderella early.
And don't forget these Insider mainstays:
Doug Gottlieb, Fran Fraschilla, Joe Lunardi and Jay Williams offer their opinions.
Insights from the mind of the College Gameday analyst.
The national recruiting analyst weighs in on news and rumors surrounding the top high school prospects.
Stay on top of all the latest recruiting buzz.
Every D-1 player's efficiency rating.