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The Fearsome Threesome, Episode 8: Attack of the Sweat Monster Pt 2

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NCAA Basketball: UCLA at Utah Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Everyone, just breathe. We’re here now and that’s all that matters.

UCLA suffered a major scare on Saturday when traveling to Utah to face the Utes. UCLA came into the game riding a major wave of confidence coming off a 104-89 victory in Boulder, Colorado against the Buffs. But, the shots weren’t falling for the Bruins and Utah kept fighting back and made it a tight game for UCLA. UCLA shot a woeful 31% from beyond the arc which, they cannot do against great teams. Their three-point shooting is the bread and butter of their offense and without the Bruins are vulnerable to an upset. In the end the Bruins was too much and Thomas Welsh, of all people, came to the line and sank two big free throws (unlike a certain Alford we all know) and sealed the game for UCLA.

But, after that heart rate rising game, we have another one upon us. No. 14 Arizona. Yes, I know Arizona State is before that but I believe the Bruins will win that game pretty easily. But Arizona has dominated the Pac-12; they are the hurdle that the Bruins must get over to win the Pac-12.

UCLA is a better team. I can safely say that with somewhat confidence. The Bruins have national title talent on the floor with future top 5 pick Lonzo Ball, three point marksman Bryce Alford and highly underrated TJ Leaf. The only concern I have for this team is their shooting and defense. Again, I know their shooting is actually one of their strengths but, live by the three, die by the three. The Bruins can’t have another shooting night like they did against Utah. UCLA will be unbeatable if they shoot in the high 40s low 50s beyond the arc. The defense is my main concern. We have seen no real improvement throughout the year as most UCLA games are in the high 80s. The magic number? 70. If UCLA can hold every team to 70 points than I have ultimate confidence that they can win.

This is the most important conference game the Bruins will have all year. The home crowd will be wild for the Bruins and I honestly believe this might be a game of the year in the conference. After a hotly contested game the UCLA Bruins will come away with a 87-83 victory and will control their own destiny in the Pac-12.