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The Fearsome Threesome, Episode 13: The Kings of LA Travel South

Arizona, here comes the Bruins

NCAA Basketball: Southern California at UCLA Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

What a team, what a game, what a beating.

UCLA gave their rival,l Southern Cal, a savage 102-70 beating at home and claims the city of Los Angeles for the year. Five Bruins scored in double digits with Thomas Welsh having his best game of the season with 16 points and 16 rebounds. Steve Alford seemingly has finally found out how to get his team to play defense while keeping his all-star offense. If you want a more indepth review of UCLA’s beating of Southern Cal check out Nico Gervasoni’s article.

http://www.pacifictakes.com/2017/2/21/14677878/ucla-basketball-exercises-catharsis-to-reclaim-la-for-now

Looking forward, UCLA has two tough games in the state of Arizona. Arizona State on Thursday and Arizona on Saturday. Both of these games are important to the Bruins Pac-12 championship hopes. The Bruins should be able to walk over Arizona State however, they cannot look forward towards the Wildcats. They have to focus on ASU because they are still a solid team that can scare the Bruins if they aren’t careful. As for Arizona, they are currently 14-1 in the Pac-12 which is a game ahead of Oregon, who just stole a game from Cal, and two games ahead of UCLA. If UCLA wants to make a run at the Pac-12 regular season title, they have to win at Arizona and hope Arizona stumbles. This seems incredibly unlikely because Arizona is actually a good team and they play Southern Cal, UCLA, and Arizona State. But, this game is the last measuring stick game for the Bruins before the Pac-12 tournament.

UCLA seems to be locked into the three seed going into the tournament which will prove to be a difficult road for them. They will have to play both Oregon and Arizona barring an unforeseen upset. UCLA can prove to themselves and to the nation that they are a serious national championship contenders with a win in Arizona. Arizona embarrassed the Bruins earlier in the season and Alford has to take advantage of this. He should light a fire under the team and get them to play their best basketball of the season. Lonzo Ball, Bryce Alford, and TJ Leaf have to play their best game of the season to beat this team. However, I do not think the Bruins will pull this out. Arizona is one of the toughest places to play in the nation and I think Arizona will repeat what they did to the Bruins earlier this season. Final score will be 87-79 Wildcats.