No. 2-Seed UCLA Opens Pac-12 Tournament on Thursday
LOS ANGELES – No. 2-seed UCLA (23-6) will face No. 7-seed Washington State (19-13) in the Pac-12 Tournament's quarterfinal round on Thursday. Washington State advanced to the quarterfinals with a 66-59 win against No. 10-seed California on Wednesday evening in a first-round showdown. UCLA's game on Thursday will begin at 6 p.m. (PT) at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
THURSDAY'S GAME INFORMATION
Venue: T-Mobile Arena (Las Vegas)
Game Time: 6:00 p.m. (PT)
Television: Pac-12 Network
TV Talent: Ted Robinson (play-by-play), Bill Walton (analyst), Jordan Kent (sideline reporter)
Radio Broadcast (UCLA Sports Network): AM 570
Radio Talent: Josh Lewin (play-by-play), Tracy Murray (analyst)
SIRIUS/XM Radio Channels: Ch. 137 / Ch. 197
SIRIUS Internet Channel: Ch. 959
ABOUT THE BRUINS
- UCLA's 23 regular-season wins are the most for the Bruins since going 28-3 in the regular season in 2016-17.
- The Bruins finished second in the Pac-12 standings for the second time in the past three seasons (also, 2019-20).
- UCLA faces the winner of Wednesday's first-round game between (7-seed) Washington State and (10-seed) California.
- UCLA has gone 8-4 in true road games and 14-1 at home (the Bruins are 1-1 in two neutral site contests).
- The Bruins rank No. 2 in the Pac-12 in margin of victory (12.3 ppg) and points per game (76.7 ppg).
- UCLA ranks among the top 25 (via KenPom.com) in adjusted defensive (No. 11) and offensive efficiency (No. 15).
- Jaime Jaquez Jr. has averaged a team-leading 14.8 points (and 5.8 rebounds per game) in the Bruins' last five contests.
- UCLA ranks in the top 10 in the nation in fewest turnovers per game (No. 4, at 9.1) and turnover margin (No. 7, at 4.7).
- Head coach Mick Cronin has gone 64-28 at UCLA (currently in his third season as UCLA's head coach).
- Eleven of UCLA's 15 players were either born-and-raised in Southern California or attended high school in the area.
- The Bruins went 5-1 in the 2021 NCAA Tournament, earning the program's 19th all-time appearance in the Final Four.
UCLA VERSUS WASHINGTON STATE
The Bruins defeated Washington State, 76-56, in the two programs' only meeting earlier this season (Feb. 17, in Pauley Pavilion). UCLA has compiled an all-time record of 111-19 against Washington State, including the game played this year. The Bruins have faced Washington State in two previous conference tournaments (in 1988 in Tucson, and in 2009 in Los Angeles). UCLA, as the No. 2-seed, won a quarterfinal game against Washington State (64-53), as the No. 7 seed, back on March 12, 2009. Washington State, as the No. 6-seed, defeated UCLA (as the No. 3-seed) by a final margin of 73-71 on March 11, 1988.
WESTWOOD, UCLA'S DOCUSERIES
The Bruins' season-long docuseries – titled "Westwood" – airs on the UCLA Athletics YouTube channel and the UCLA men's basketball program's social media platforms (Twitter, Instagram and Facebook). Episodes run just under 10 minutes in length and are broadcast on social media approximately every two weeks.
Episode 1 (aired Monday, Nov. 8) – watch
Episode 2 (aired Monday, Nov. 22) – watch
Episode 3 (aired Monday, Dec. 6) – watch
Episode 4 (aired Monday, Dec. 20) – watch
Episode 5 (aired Monday, Jan. 10) – watch
Episode 6 (aired Monday, Jan. 24) – watch
Episode 7 (aired Monday, Feb. 7) – watch
Episode 8 (aired Monday, Feb. 21) – watch
Episode 9 (aired Monday, March 7) – watch
The Bruins have won six of the last seven games, including each of their last three contests. Jaime Jaquez Jr. was named the Pac-12 Player of the Week and the USBWA's National Player of the Week (for the week ending Sunday, March 6), after he averaged 28.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists in UCLA's wins against Washington and USC. He scored a career-high 30 points in the Bruins' 77-66 win at Washington, helping UCLA overcome a 29-25 halftime deficit. Jaquez Jr. scored 27 points in the team's 75-68 win over USC in the regular-season finale for both programs on Saturday, March 5.
Tyger Campbell, Jaime Jaquez Jr. and Johnny Juzang have been named first-team All-Pac-12 selections (the Pac-12 names 10 players to the first team, five players to the second team). Campbell has secured first-team honors for the second consecutive season. Jaquez Jr. and Juzang were listed as second-team selections last season. In addition, Jaquez Jr., Jaylen Clark and Myles Johnson were named to five-person Pac-12 All-Defensive Team, as announced in the league's year-end awards release on Tuesday, March 8. Jaquez Jr. has been honored on the all-defensive team for two straight seasons.
LAST SEASON'S TOURNAMENT
The Bruins were the No. 4-seed in last season's Pac-12 Tournament, dropping an 83-79 overtime decision to No. 5-seed Oregon State. The Beavers did not play a first-round matchup, as the No. 5-seed advanced straight through to the quarterfinal round with Arizona sitting out postseason play. In the loss to Oregon State, Jules Bernard finished with his first career double-double (19 points, 10 rebounds). That marked the Bruins' fourth consecutive loss as they headed into the NCAA Tournament's First Four (before winning five consecutive games to reach the NCAA Final Four).
THE 20-WIN PLATEAU
UCLA has won at least 20 games for the second consecutive season, logging its 23rd win last Saturday with a 75-68 victory against USC. The Bruins' program has won at least 20 games in 53 seasons, including 45 times in the last 56 years (1967-2022). UCLA won at least 20 games in 17 consecutive seasons from 1966-67 through 1982-83. In fact, the Bruins compiled a 205-5 overall record through a seven-year stretch from 1966-67 through 1972-73. Over the past 10 seasons (since 2012-13), UCLA has won at least 20 games in six seasons and 25 games or more in three seasons.
MORE ABOUT TYGER
Tyger Campbell has secured first-team All-Pac-12 honors for the second straight season. He has become UCLA's first player to earn first-team all-league acclaim in back-to-back years since Arron Afflalo (2006, 2007). Through games played on Monday, March 7, Campbell ranked No. 3 in the nation in assist-turnover ratio (3.5) and No. 3 in the Pac-12 in assists per game (4.3). He is UCLA's first player since Darren Collison (2006-09) to serve as the primary point guard for at least three straight seasons. From 2011-12 through 2018-19, UCLA used seven different players as the team's starting point guard.
LIMITING THE TURNOVERS
Through games played Monday, March 7, UCLA ranked No. 4 in the nation in fewest turnovers per game (9.1). The Bruins committed just one turnover in the 75-68 win over USC last Saturday (March 5), the fewest turnovers by any Pac-12 team in a game, on record. UCLA has consistently recorded the assist and turnover stats since the start of the 1973-74 season. Most recently, the Bruins committed just three turnovers in an NCAA Tournament win over Cincinnati on March 19, 2017. For as long as UCLA has recorded the turnover stat, the Bruins have committed three turnovers or fewer in five games.
IN PAC-12 ACTION
Since the start of the 2020-21 season, UCLA has gone 28-11 in Pac-12 play (13-6 last season, 15-5 this season). The Bruins have won 24 of their last 26 home games in Pac-12 play (losses to USC in March of 2021 and Oregon on Jan. 13, 2022). UCLA won its final seven home Pac-12 games in 2019-20, during Coach Cronin's first season as the team's head coach. Since the start of the 2019-20 season, the Bruins have gone 38-6 in all games played in Pauley Pavilion.
THE BRUINS' LEADING SCORER
Johnny Juzang has averaged a team-best 16.7 points per game and ranks No. 3 in the Pac-12 in scoring. He has tallied at least 10 points in 21 of 24 games played and leads the team in scoring (400 points, 16.7 ppg) and shots made (151). Last season, he averaged a team-best 16.0 points in 27 contests and was one of five players to earn All-NCAA Tournament Team acclaim (averaged 22.8 points in six NCAA Tournament games). He shot 50.9 percent in last season's NCAA Tournament.
20-POINT TOTALS: During his two seasons at UCLA, he has scored at least 20 points in 15 games (that includes seven games this season and eight games last year). Juzang has averaged 4.7 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 24 games played this season. He most recently scored at least 20 points (had 23 points) in a win at Stanford on Tuesday, Feb. 8.
30-POINT CLUB: Johnny Juzang scored a career-high 32 points in UCLA's 64-61 win at Washington last season (Feb. 13, 2021). That marked the most points in one game by any UCLA player since Kris Wilkes had 34 points versus Arizona on Jan. 26, 2019 in a Pac-12 game in Pauley Pavilion.
The Bruins will enter the Pac-12 Tournament having limited the opposition to a league-best 64.3 points per game, the fewest points allowed by any UCLA team since 2011-12 (when the Bruins allowed 62.5 points per game). Through games played Monday, March 7, the Bruins' adjusted defensive efficiency in the KenPom metrics ranked No. 11 in the nation (91.2 points per 100 possessions). In 2018-19, the Bruins ranked No. 137 in that category; then No. 112 in 2019-20; then No. 46 in 2020-21. UCLA has not ranked as low as No. 11 since the 2007-08 season (ranked No. 5).
Under third-year head coach Mick Cronin, the Bruins have gone 21-11 in games decided by five points or fewer (includes all overtime games, regardless of score margin). This season, the Bruins have posted a 2-4 record in such situations. In 2019-20, the Bruins went 7-3 in those contests. In 2020-21, UCLA had a 12-4 record. Through Coach Cronin's final three seasons at Cincinnati (2016-17 through 2018-19), his teams went 18-7 in those situations. From 2016-17 through the 2020-21 season, Coach Cronin's teams went 37-14 in such contests.
70 POINTS OR FEWER
Over the past two seasons (2020-21 and 2021-22), UCLA has gone 35-4 when limiting the opposition to 70 or fewer points (17-3 last season, 18-1 this year). Coach Cronin has led the Bruins to a 53-5 record when limiting the opposition to 70 or fewer points. In 2019-20, UCLA went 18-1 in such situations. Through his final three seasons as Cincinnati's head coach (2016-17 through 2018-19), his teams posted a 79-10 record (opposition, 70 or fewer points). Since the start of the 2016-17 season, his teams have gone 129-15 when limiting the opponent to 70 or fewer points (through 195 games).
ONE THOUSAND POINTS
Jules Bernard (1,102 points) and Jaime Jaquez Jr. (1,043 points) have both crossed the 1,000 career-point plateau this season. Bernard, who has played in 124 career games, reached the 1,000-point milestone in a triple-overtime loss at Arizona State on Saturday, Feb. 5. Jaquez Jr. crossed the 1,000-point threshold in the Bruins' 77-66 win at Washington on Monday, Feb. 28. He finished that game with a career-high 30 points. UCLA has three players – Johnny Juzang (914), Cody Riley (911) and Tyger Campbell (905) – who have each scored at least 900 points in their collegiate careers.
THE BRUINS WHEN ...
Since the start of the 2017-18 season, the Bruins have gone 76-14 when leading at halftime (through 158 games). During that span, the UCLA has gone 23-40 when trailing at halftime (3-2 when tied at the break). UCLA's largest halftime deficit overcome in that stretch has been 16 points – UCLA trailed at home against Oregon, 44-28, on Feb. 23, 2019, and outscored the Ducks in the second half (62-39) to win, 90-83. When the Bruins have built a 10-point lead (or larger) at any point in the game, UCLA has gone 80-10. When trailing by 10 or more points in a game, UCLA has gone 17-41.
PAC-12 TOURNAMENT CHAMPIONS
UCLA has won the conference tournament four times (1987, 2006, 2008 and 2014). The Pac-12 (or Pac-10) has hosted a conference tournament every season since 2002 (and from 1987 through 1990). The Bruins have not competed in the championship contest since 2014, when UCLA downed top-seeded Arizona, 75-71. UCLA had advanced to the title contest the year prior (2013) but lost to Oregon in the championship game.
The Bruins have not advanced to the semifinals since 2018. UCLA lost in a quarterfinal matchup in 2019 (did not have a first-round bye). The tournament was abruptly canceled in 2020, due to COVID-19. Last year, the Bruins dropped an 83-79 overtime decision to No. 5-seed Oregon State, which won three games in three days to secure an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament (Oregon State advanced to the NCAA Tournament's Elite Eight).
UCLA IN LAS VEGAS
The Pac-12 Conference moved the league tournament to Las Vegas in 2013, one year after Utah and Colorado had joined the Pac-12. Since the tournament moved to Las Vegas, the Bruins have gone 9-7 with two trips to the championship game. The Pac-12 Tournament took place in Los Angeles (Staples Center), prior to moving over to Las Vegas in 2013.