Monday, March 10, 2008

Bruins still worry me

I'm almost utterly elated that UCLA has won the Pac 10 outright and that most basketball supposed experts think the Pac 10 is the toughest conference in the country this year. And there's little question that these guys know how to fight through adversity. But I'm concerned that they seem to create their own adversity sometimes, and if they continue the pattern they might not get to the Final Four, let alone win it all.

Both of their victories last week were -- not exactly tainted, but at least somewhat questionable. Against Stanford on Thursday, it sure looked in replays as if, while there may have been mild body contact on Collison on the foul with 2.5 seconds left, the block itself was clean, all ball. Collison still had to sink the free throws to tie it, and the Bruins did dominate in overtime, but . . . And against Cal, it was unclear whether Josh Shipp's last shot went over the backboard, but it looked as if it was possible.

The really bothersome thing is that they were behind two teams they should have dominated -- well, maybe not dominated in the case of Stanford -- until the last few seconds. They played sloppily against Stanford in the first half and lethargically against Cal. I know this is nitpicking about a superb team, but if they don't see these games as a wake-up call they could come up very short of achieving their potential in the tournament.

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