March 20, 2007
L.A. Story: A tale of two teams
For the first time since 2001, both USC and UCLA have advanced past the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament. Once again, Los Angeles has become a college basketball town, and perhaps this time around, a prolonged shift of power within the Pac-10 is taking place.
In October when the first sounds of basketballs bouncing and tennis shoes squeaking resonated through the halls of Pauley Pavilion, this UCLA team was a well known commodity. Coming off a National Runner-Up finish from a season ago, the Bruins were picked to win the Pac-10, and were a preseason top 5 choice around the country.
Despite the loss of three starters to the NBA, Ben Howland had stamped his imprint not only in the minds of the writers around this league, but he left an impression strong enough throughout the college basketball landscape to bring the level of respect Bruin fans had grown accustom to, back into the psyche of the national media.
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