Bruins get knocked out

first_imgMore pressing now is how UCLA corrects horrid free throw shooting, how it solves a second straight substandard effort, and most glaringly, how Pac-10 player of the year and All-American guard Arron Afflalo will be affected by playing the worst game of his career. “At this point, after losing two games like this, seedings don’t mean much to me anymore,” said Afflalo, who fouled out with three points on 1 of 7 shooting. “It’s all about how you approach the game, and if you can go out there and beat the other team in front of you. We were a No. 1 seed in this tournament and it didn’t make a difference.” Howland said he still expected the Bruins (26-5) to be placed in Sacramento, but followed the path of his players in adding UCLA’s seeding is now irrelevant. “I’m not really worried about (a No. 1 seed) because bottom line, we have to play better than we played in the last two games,” Howland said. “Anybody can beat us on a given day, and I still believe this team can beat anybody on a given day. It’s how we prepare, and so it’s going to get back to fundamentals in everything we do, beginning Saturday when we have our next practice.” Howland was quick to remind everyone this defeat came one week after the Bruins clinched the regular season title, and if this was a one-game happenstance, the tenor of UCLA’s plight would likely be different. In the most shocking result of UCLA coach Ben Howland’s four-year tenure, the Pacific-10 tournament was thrown into turmoil when eighth-seeded California stunned the top seed and fourth-ranked UCLA 76-69 in overtime in Thursday’s quarterfinals at Staples Center. The loss comes after the Bruins lost its regular season finale at Washington, and sweeps away aspirations of gaining a No. 1 seed in the NCAAs. LOS ANGELES – The top seeding in the NCAA Tournament so vital a week ago, now seems meaningless. Discussions of UCLA’s hand-picked road to the Final Four, through Sacramento and San Jose, are tabled for talk about how to fix the broken Bruins. No longer does it matter where the Bruins are sent in the NCAAs, because issues exist well beyond UCLA’s standing in the eyes of the NCAA selection committee. center_img However, this loss came on the heels of a poor effort in at Washington. “It’s all mental,” UCLA point guard Darren Collison said. “If you’re mentally in the game and ready to play, those things shouldn’t affect you. I thought, collectively, we weren’t ready to play.” Cal (16-16) lost both regular season games to the Bruins by a combined 26 points, but now are two wins away from an improbable NCAA berth. The Bears play fourth-seeded Oregon today at 6:20 p.m. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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