Bracket Projection: UCLA
Down one of their best players, can the other young Bruins step up?
From the defections of two players, to the early-season eligibility controversy over Shabazz Muhammad, to some puzzling losses, to the loss of second-leading scorer Jordan Adams to a foot injury in the Pac-12 tournament, it has been drama-filled season in Westwood. Ultimately, the results were good and the UCLA Bruins produced a Pac-12 championship. Can they deliver more than that and end up in Atlanta, or have we already seen the best of the Bruins?
ESPN Insider has your answers, as Joe Lunardi has enlisted a team of Bracketologists to compile advanced metrics, key scouting intel and best- and worst-case tournament scenarios for all 68 teams, in order to help you make smart picks in your bracket. Plus, as Lunardi fills out his bracket, he'll give you his prediction on how each team will fare.
The Bruins are down an important component without Jordan Adams, but Minnesota hasn't won a game away from home in over two months. So I'll take my chances on UCLA for one round. After that it's the same Florida problem the Bruins encountered in the 2006, 2007 and 2011 tournaments. So much for avoiding recent tourney rematches in the early rounds.
Best wins: Arizona, at Arizona, at Colorado, Missouri
Worst losses: Cal Poly, at Arizona State, USC, at Washington State
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Joe Lunardi and his team of analysts have broken down every NCAA tournament team's strengths, weaknesses and player tendencies.
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