And then it exhaled in relief.
The Bruins were blessed with probably what you'd have to consider as very favorable seeding as a #8 seed in the West Region, facing a #9 seed in the first round in Mississippi. The Rebels (20-10) are a team that came in sixth place in the SEC, were 1-7 in conference road games, don't play anyone taller than 6-8, start only one senior, and will be almost as far away from their hometown crowd as UCLA since the game will be played in Pittsburg. Then, if UCLA, as an eight seed, had to face a #1 seed in the second round, the Bruins would draw Cincinnati, probably the one #1 seed in the tournament that many observers believe doesn't deserve its #1 seed. It could have been Duke.
Then, looking even further down the road, if UCLA happened to get past Mississippi and Cincinnati, they'd actually be able to return to the west coast to play its Sweet 16 game in San Jose.
We'll have in-depth analysis of UCLA's matchup with Mississippi and its potential road to the Final Four, along with analysis of the entire tournament this week…