The latest NCAA tournament bubble watch is up at SB Nation, and Chris Dobbertean has the UCLA Bruins making the tournament, though they still have work to do. When UCLA lost to USC on January 9, the Bruins fell to 9-6, and 1-2 in Pac-10 conference play. Since then, however, the Bruins have asserted themselves, winning six of seven games, which has propelled them to 7-3 in conference, tied with the Washington Huskies for second place in the Pac-10.
Saturday's game at Pauley Pavilion against St. John's basically amounts to an 8 vs. 9 tournament game, per Dobbertean's rankings. Both the Bruins and Red Storm, coached by ex-Bruin head man Steve Lavin, are in the "work to do" section of the NCAA tournament bubble. Dobbertean says of the six teams in the "work to do" section "have separated themselves slightly from the bottom of the at-large pool, though in the cases ofand , there isn't a lot of breathing room between them and the last eight at-larges, especially considering the profiles of the three auto bid holders hovering around lines nine and 10."
UCLA is one of three Pac-10 teams projected by Dobbertean to make the tournament, joined by Washington (a 7 seed) and Arizona (an 8 seed). None of the conference teams are seen as locks for the tournament, a testament to the down year for the conference.
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