UCLA Bruins head coach Mick Cronin is far from amused by how the selection committee views his team. The NCAA’s selection committee recently released of its top 16 teams for the upcoming March Madness, but UCLA Basketball, regarded as one of the best teams in the nation, ranked just No. 8 on the list.
Unsurprisingly, it did not sit well with the UCLA basketball sideline boss.
Via Beth Harris of AP:
“If you ask my one-word answer on that ranking — comical,” a straight-faced Cronin said after the Bruins routed California 78-43 on Saturday night. “I’m going to try not to laugh.”
The list has the Alabama Crimson Tide, Houston Cougars, Purdue Boilermakers, Kansas Jayhawks, Texas Longhorns, Arizona Wildcats, and Baylor Bears ranked ahead of UCLA basketball, which is currently the No. 1 team in the Pac-12 Conference standings with a 14-2 league record.
UCLA basketball has a 5-4 record in Quadrant 1 games and a perfect 7-0 slate in Quadrant 2 contests, to date. While the Bruins did not get the respect they feel they deserve through that top 16 list, UCLA basketball is a top five program on other college basketball rankings. KenPom and Barttovik both have UCLA as No. 3 overall.
Cronin and the Bruins can use the perceived slight as added motivation for them this season. They still have four games remaining in the regular season, with the Utah Utes coming right up on their schedule this Thursday. The Bruins can make one more big statement with a win against Arizona in the regular-season finale on Mar. 4 at home.