In case you hadn't already heard, UCLA suffered one of the worst defeats in the history of that program that used to have John Wooden coaching, about 20 years before most current college basketball players were born. The final score (83-44) didn't even come close to describing just how brutal the game was.
What was the lowest point? When the score was 24-0? 31-4? 43-7? You get the idea. The Bruins were completely incapable of dealing with Kentucky's interior athleticism, as basically every shot was either blocked or severely altered. It was an absolute clinic.
UCLA's best player this year is Bryce Alford. Bruins fans who hate Steve Alford will likely never admit it, but the numbers bear it out. And that fact is perhaps the problem, because Bryce Alford is an excellent role player and secondary offensive option, but he should never be the best player on a team like UCLA,
UCLA has had their fair share of non-conference troubles over the last few years and it's not unusual to see them bounce back in conference play. With new players Kevon Looney, Isaac Hamilton and Thomas Welsh still integrating into the team, the Bruins might have some upside. But they are also playing their starters heavy, heavy minutes in an up-tempo offense. Between fatigue and fan revolt, might UCLA fold like a house of cards? I know what I'll be rooting for this year!
California 78, Eastern Washington 67
Arizona 60, UTEP 55
Washington 69, Oklahoma 67
USC 75, Boston College 71
Utah 59, UNLV 46
I'm stretching a little as Boston College isn't really a high-value win. But right now, a USC road win over a power conference team will count. Meanwhile, Cal and Arizona get solid wins over teams that they should expect to beat.
The one big positive result of the week? Washington is still undefeated, this time by knocking off a top 25 team! Oklahoma hasn't been amazing this year, but they beat UCLA easily enough and will likely be a top 50 RPI win all year long for the Huskies. Washington blitzed the Sooners early with a bunch of 3s and their usual up-tempo style, then held on for dear life as Oklahoma rallied. They showed surprising balance on offense and looked much more legit than I expected.
Marquette 78, Arizona State 71
Kentucky 83, UCLA 44
BYU 79, Stanford 77
We covered UCLA above, and we'll cover Arizona State below, so let's talk about Stanford. After playing an insane game last year, Johnny Dawkins and Stanford were a little more controlled against BYU, but the result was another loss. Stanford's best win this year is still over Wofford, and unless they beat Texas on Tuesday on the road it will be a near worthless non-conference stretch. Stanford's defense has taken a step back with the departure of Dwight Powell and Josh Heustis.
I'm so glad that Johnny Dawkins made his only NCAA tournament trip in six years good enough to buy him time.
Lehigh 84, Arizona State 81, Triple overtime
Quinnipiac 60, Oregon State 52
I caught the last 10 minutes of the ASU game, and they just looked bad. No particular aim on offense, iffy defense . . . just bad. Like Stanford, they have also lost all of their value games, but they now have an awful black-eye loss to go with it.
Meanwhile, Oregon State got justifiably punished for scheduling a silly, silly road game. And right after an eye-catching demolition of a decentish DePaul team. This is why the Pac-12 can't have nice things this year.
Oregon State 71, Grambling State 43
Arizona 101, Oakland 64
Stanford 67, Loyola Marymount 58
Washington 86, Grambling State 38
Oregon 79, CSU Northridge 56
Oregon State 90, DePaul 59
Oregon 83, Delaware St. 70
Nothing much to say here other than to note that Grambling came to the west coast and got outscored 86-22 in the first half combined. Do triple doubles count against Grambling? Gary Payton sez yes.
All games on the Pac-12 Networks unless otherwise stated.
DePaul at Colorado, ESPNU
Wisconsin at California, ESPN2
UC Santa Barbara at Oregon
Tulane at Washington
Detroit at Arizona State
Stanford at Texas, ESPN2
South Dakota State at Utah
Arizona at UNLV, CBSSN
No games, because even the NCAA isn't evil/dumb enough to make teams play games on or near Christmas
Harvard at Arizona State
UC Davis at Washington State
UCLA at Alabama, ESPNU
Stony Brook at Washington
CSU Bakersfield at California
This is the final week before conference play starts, and most teams are trying to fit in one last cupcake to pad the record and tune up for the games that really matter. But there are exceptions. Cal and Stanford, obviously, are playing nationally ranked powerhouses in the search for one defining win. Both will be very hard to come by.
Utah, USC, Oregon and Washington State are all hosting decent mid-majors that could very well pull the upset if they aren't careful.
Meanwhile, UCLA is a glutton for punishment and will probably lose on the road. Will the result embarrass the 4 letters in the process? Only time will tell!