Cronin: UCLA’s seed in bracket preview ‘funny’
LOS ANGELES– The Division I males’s basketball committee revealed its top 16 teams for next month’s NCAA competition on Saturday, and UCLA coach Mick Cronin found his team’s present seed to be “humorous.”
Top-ranked Alabama was voted as the committee’s leading general seed. No. 2 Houston, No. 3 Purdue and No. 5 Kansas were selected as No. 1 seeds– for now.No.
8 Arizona was chosen as the 6th total seed, while fourth-ranked UCLA was eighth. The Pac-12 competitors will satisfy March 4 in their regular-season ending. The Wildcats beat the Bruins 58-52 last month.Editor’s Picks 2 Associated”If you ask my one-word response
on that ranking– comical,”a straight-faced Cronin said after the Bruins routed California 78-43 on Saturday night. “I’m going to attempt not to laugh.”
Cronin attributed the Bruins’ predicted seed to last summer’s statement that UCLA and USC are leaving the Pac-12 to join the Big Ten in 2024.
“When we left the Pac-12, it cost a lot of people countless dollars and there was going to be fallout, and I believe it’s a direct outcome,” he said. “I had nothing to do with us leaving the league, however you handle the fallout being a lame duck.”
The committee put the 16 groups into the four regions. The Bruins (23-4 overall, 14-2 Pac-12) landed in the East Regional, to be played in New york city, along with Purdue, No. 11 total seed Iowa State and No. 14 total seed Marquette.Meanwhile, Arizona(24-4, 13-4) was positioned in the West, to be played in Las Vegas, with Kansas, No. 12 seed Kansas State and No. 15 seed Gonzaga.
“A couple years ago we showed your seed doesn’t matter,” Cronin said.In 2021, the 11th-seeded Bruins reached the Final 4 prior to losing in overtime to Gonzaga in the national semifinals.UCLA’s leading scorer
, Jaime Jaquez Jr., said he wasn’t aware the sneak peek bracket had actually been announced.”I’ll wait on the last bracket to be excited or not excited,”he said. “Most likely thrilled. “The bracket sneak peek show aired on CBS.Selection Sunday for the NCAA Tournament is March 12.