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UCLA vs. Arizona


2/14/09


There havenít been many teams this season that have been able to get the best of the UCLA Bruins, in fact there havenít been many to beat the Bruins over the last couple of seasons, but this season the mighty Bruins have dropped two against the Arizona State Sun Devils.

Although the Arizona Wildcats arenít what they used to be with all the national attention and a guaranteed ranking in the top five teams or so, they can still put up a fight against some of the best in the Pac-10.

As of Thursday night before the Bruins took the floor in at Arizona State, UCLA was the sixth best team in the country according to the ESPN/USA Today poll. Before that game it would have been hard to argue that the Bruins donít belong in the top ten teams in the country, but after the 18th ranked Sun Devils handed the Bruins their fifth loss of the season things might look a little different in the Top 25 and the Pac-10 standings.

Arizona is no Arizona State, donít get me wrong, but with this big blow to the Bruins confidence there would be no better time for the Wildcats to take on the Bruins in Arizona.

Even though the Bruins have been knocked off their pedestal in the Pac-10, Darren Collison and company will look rebound quickly from their disappointing loss to the Sun Devils. Although it is definitely easier said than done, if any team is capable of getting back on top and learning from their mistakes it is the Bruins.

The Bruins did get the best of the Wildcats back on January 15th at Pauley Pavilion, but as we just saw a couple days ago they have had no luck in the state of Arizona.
 

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In the mid January meeting Arizona forward Jordan Hill went off scoring a game high 22 points and ripping down eight rebounds, but besides Hill and 12 points from Chase Budinger the rest of the Wildcats never really got going.

As for the Bruins they had five players in double figures including center/forward Alfred Aboya who absolutely dominated the glass with 12 boards while adding 12 points. Point guard Darren Collison also had a great game on the defensive side of the floor with three steals.

Needless to say the Wildcats werenít much of a challenge for the Bruins as UCLA rolled to 23 point victory.

Although Arizona has eight losses on the year and will almost certainly be no factor in the Pac-10 standings win or lose, they have played pretty well as of late winning six straight, most of which was against conference opponents like Washington and USC.

The Wildcats may be a hot team right now, but I donít think they will be able to pull off the upset against a Bruins team looking to come back after a disappointing loss. We'll lay the 4 points in this one. UCLA -4

 

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