UCLA’s Mick Cronin: Bruins’ standing as ‘lame duck’ impacts NCAA seeding

The Division I males’s basketball committee revealed its prime 16 groups for subsequent month’s NCAA Tournament on Saturday, and UCLA coach Mick Cronin discovered his workforce’s present seed to be “comical.”

Top-ranked Alabama was voted because the committee’s prime total seed. No. 2 Houston, No. 3 Purdue and No. 5 Kansas had been chosen as No. 1 seeds — for now.

No. 8 Arizona was chosen because the sixth total seed, whereas fourth-ranked UCLA was eighth. The Pac-12 rivals will meet March 4 of their regular-season finale. The Wildcats beat the Bruins 58-52 final month.

“If you ask my one-word answer on that ranking — comical,” a straight-faced Cronin stated after the Bruins routed California 78-43 on Saturday night time. “I’m going to try not to laugh.”

Cronin attributed the Bruins’ projected seed to final summer season’s announcement that UCLA and USC are leaving the Pac-12 to affix the Big Ten in 2024.

“When we left the Pac-12, it cost a lot of people millions of dollars and there was going to be fallout, and I think it’s a direct result,” he stated. “I had nothing to do with us leaving the league, but you deal with the fallout being a lame duck.”

The committee positioned the 16 groups into the 4 areas. The Bruins (23-4 total, 14-2 Pac-12) landed within the East Regional, to be performed in New York, together with Purdue, No. 11 total seed Iowa State and No. 14 total seed Marquette.

Meanwhile, Arizona (24-4, 13-4) was positioned within the West, to be performed in Las Vegas, with Kansas, No. 12 seed Kansas State and No. 15 seed Gonzaga.

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“A couple years ago we proved your seed doesn’t matter,” Cronin stated.

In 2021, the Eleventh-seeded Bruins reached the Final Four earlier than dropping in time beyond regulation to Gonzaga within the nationwide semifinals.

UCLA’s main scorer, Jaime Jaquez Jr., stated he wasn’t conscious the preview bracket had been introduced.

“I’ll wait for the final bracket to be excited or not excited,” he stated. “Probably excited.”

The bracket preview present aired on CBS.

Selection Sunday for the NCAA Tournament is March 12.

Reporting by the Associated Press.

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