It is the way it should be for fans that live in Los Angeles, No. 3 ranked UCLA (28-3, 15-3 Pac 12), will play the rubber match with arch rival, USC (23-8, 10-8 Pac 12) in the quarter-final of the Pac 12 Conference Tournament. The stakes are immense, as they are simple. Winner moves on, loser goes home.
The Trojans beat Washington in the opening round of the tournament 74-58, for the opportunity of playing the Bruins one more time.
Junior point guard, Jordan McLaughlin (6-1, 180) paced the Trojan attack scoring 22 points and a game high nine assists. McLaughlin has been on a roll, scoring 38 points accruing 19 assists over the last two games. Sophomore forward Chimezie Metu (6-11, 225), who was recently named the Pac 12’s Most Improved Player chipped in 17 points.
When the last time the Bruins played the Trojans, demolished the Trojans 102-70, but that was in front of a sellout of 13,659 delirious UCLA fans in Pauley Pavilion.
It will help the Bruin cause if they are able to duplicate the same type of effort and play when the two teams last met. UCLA did the job on both ends of the floor.
All five starters scored in double figures led by senior guard, Bryce Alford’s game high 26 points. TJ Leaf scored 19 points, Thomas Welsh had a double-double scoring 16 points while tying a career high 16 rebounds, Lonzo Ball had 15 points and Isaac Hamilton 12 points. The Bruins shot an outstanding 53.8 percent.
On the defensive side of the floor, the Bruins closed the doors on the Trojan offense. USC was only able to muster shooting 33.8 percent and that was the recipe of a 32 point victory.
The Bruins are on a nine game win streak and the last time they won the Pac 12 Tournament was in 2014.
Tipoff is scheduled for 8:30 and will be televised nationally by ESPN. Fans can listen to UCLA's game on the radio in the Los Angeles area by tuning to AM 1150 on Thursday (8:30PM, PST). Upon conclusion of the Los Angeles Clippers' broadcast on AM 570, the Bruins' game will air on both AM 1150 and AM 570.