UCLA’s NCAA tournament hopes take major hit with loss at Colorado

A weekend in the mountains can often sound like a fun experience. Not for UCLA.

The Bruins’ 80-76 loss Sunday at Colorado, followed a setback at Utah on Thursday, has thrown some up some serious roadblocks on their path to the NCAA tournament.

A third straight road loss has dropped UCLA (19-10, 10-7) to 2-6 on the road in Pac-12 play with a game at rival USC left to play. The Bruins are tied with Utah for fourth place and are at risk of missing out on a first-round bye in next month’s Pac-12 tournament in Las Vegas.

UCLA led 56-54 with 8:41 left then gave up a 17-1 run before trying to mount a late comeback. Junior guard Aaron Holiday, who finished with 21 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists, scored the Bruins’ last seven points in a 34-second span in the final minute but his turnover with 22 seconds remaining ended the comeback.

The Bruins made 14 three-pointers but so did Colorado, and a 13-of-34 performance on two-pointers included 13 missed layups. Holiday’s 21 points came on 6-of-19 shooting as he was just 2 of 10 inside the perimeter.

UCLA entered the game as one of the “first four out” in the NCAA tournament, according to BracketMatrix.com’s survey of nearly 80 projected brackets. At this point it looks like the Bruins must not only beat USC (21-9, 12-5) on Saturday but go deep in the Pac-12 tourney, possibly needing to win it and earn the conference’s automatic bid in order to avoid missing the field for the second time in three seasons.

The post UCLA’s NCAA tournament hopes take major hit with loss at Colorado appeared first on Diehards.

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