In all honesty it shouldn't come as a surprise that UCLA struggled with an in-state non-conference opponent, the very teams that most in the fan base expect the Bruins to simply roll over regardless of their level of interest. But in recent seasons it's become more of an issue as the Bruins haven't been talented enough to simply flip the switch, and there was another hard lesson to learn in the LA Sports Arena. The preseason pick to win the Pac-12 shot 40.7% from the field and made just two of fifteen from beyond the arc in a 69-58 loss to Loyola Marymount.
Here's how the ACC teams stack up over the last five years according to conference wins. Unlike many leagues, the ACC has a relatively strict caste system, with Duke and UNC firmly at the top. Tony Bennett's Virginia Cavaliers are one of the few teams with a chance to jump up a level, while Wake Forest is clearly going in the wrong direction.
Friday marks the first big day of the college basketball season with more than 100 games on the schedule. Sure most of the games look to be of the "opening sacrifice" variety, but a closer look reveals some intriguing matchups. It only makes sense to begin with the game that needs little introduction, the Carrier Classic game matching preseason national title favorite North Carolina and Michigan State. The game will be played on the USS Carl Vinson in San Diego, which will likely cue a few "I'm on a boat" jokes.
Question: Outside of the generally accepted top four (UNC/UK/Ohio State/UConn) who do you think can win the national title?
America East: James Kennedy (Boston University)
(1) Duke: lost to Arizona in the Sweet 16