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UCLA guard Bryce Alford looking to dish the ball against USC’s Julian Jacobs at Pauley Pavilion. Photo courtesy of dailybruin.com

 

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, LOS ANGELES (UCLA) BRUINS vs UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA (USC) TROJANS

BASKETBALL VERSION OF THE CROSSTOWN RIVALRY

**THE 244th AND 245th MEETINGS**

FIRST OF TWO ANNUAL GAMES: Wednesday, January 13th, 8:00 p.m, Pauley Pavilion. TV: ESPN2

Second game will be held on Thursday, February 4th, 7:30 p.m. at Galen Center

ALL-TIME SERIES: UCLA leads 138-105

FIRST GAME: February 18th, 1928 – USC won 45-35

CURRENT STREAK: UCLA has won six straight and nine of the last ten meetings dating back to the 2011-12 season

LAST BRUIN WIN: 96-70, March 4, 2015, in the Pac-12 Tournament

LAST TROJAN WIN: 75-71 (OT), January 30, 2013, at Pauley Pavilion

 

CHAMPIONSHIPS WON

UCLA: 11 national, 31 conference, 18 Final Fours

USC: 0 national, 7 conference, 2 Final Fours

 

2015-16 SEASON RECORDS

UCLA: 11-6 overall, 2-2 and tied for fifth place in the Pac-12 Conference

USC: 12-3 overall, 3-1 and in second place in the Pa-12 Conference

 

POINTS PER GAME

UCLA: 80.4

USC: 84.3 (19th in the nation)

Mar 4, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; USC Trojans guard Elijah Stewart (30) and UCLA Bruins forward Tony Parker (23) battle for a rebound in the second half of the game at Pauley Pavilion. UCLA won 85-74. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Mar 4, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; USC Trojans guard Elijah Stewart (30) and UCLA Bruins forward Tony Parker (23) battle for a rebound in the second half of the game at Pauley Pavilion. UCLA won 85-74. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports Photo courtesy of gojoebruin.com

 

TEAM LEADERS

* (ppg = points per game, apg = assists per game, rpg = rebounds per game)

Bruins:

Bryce Alford, Jr. G – 17.4 ppg, 5.1 apg

Issac Hamilton, Jr. G – 16.5 ppg, 3.0 apg

Tony Parker, Sr. F/C – 13 ppg, 9.9 rpg

Thomas Welch, So. C – 12.8 ppg, 8.8 rpg

Aaron Holiday, Fr. G – 10.6 ppg, 3.8 apg

COACH: Steve Alford

Trojans:

Jordan McLaughlin, So. G – 12.9 ppg, 5.3 apg

Julian Jacobs, Jr. G – 12.9 ppg, 4.7 apg, 5.3 rpg

Nikola Jovanovic, Jr. F – 12.5 ppg, 7.7 rpg

Bennie Boatwright, Fr. F – 12.3 ppg, 5.1 rpg

Katin Reinhardt, Jr. G – 12.4 ppg

COACH: Andy Enfield

 

UCLA Basketball: Highlights of their 87-84 win over Arizona (including Bryce Alford’s winning three-point shot) – January 7, 2016

 

USC Basketball: Highlights of their 103-101, four-overtime win over Arizona at Galen Center – January 9, 2016

 

Let me be honest…

Until this past Saturday, I was unconvinced that USC’s Trojan hoops squad was anything spectacular as they built their win total by playing non-substantial mid-major schools.

Their gutsy on a produced scale, perfect illustration of a team wanting it more, win over now 18th-ranked Arizona – who was previously ranked 7th – in four overtimes  changed my opinion of Andy Enfield’s team, as ‘SC has become completely legitimate in my eyes by beating an elite program, proving once and for all that they are one of the six or seven teams that could win the Pac-12 Conference.

Which could result in trouble for the Bruins as with them beating two top ten teams, then-#1 Kentucky and Arizona on a last second three-point shot by Bryce Alford on Thursday, plus getting a win over top-20 Gonzaga on the road,

While losing to teams they should have beaten with relative ease such as the Washington schools and particularly Monmouth in their season opener,

Whether or not UCLA can beat the Trojans for the seventh straight time on the basketball court will all depend on which Bruin team will show up in Pauley Pavilion on Wednesday night.

WEB_MensBasketball_RalfCheung

Former USC guard Jio Fontan going up for a shot against UCLA’s Tony Parker. Photo courtesy of dailytrojan.com

 

Because if the team that played so lackadaisical in their losses shows up, we could well see USC’s players celebrating on the Bruins’ court in Westwood.

I can more or less guarantee that those Trojans will be looking for blood, to continue to prove to the country that they can compete with anyone as well as being desperate to break the recent dominance that their 12-miles-away rivals have enjoyed on the hardwood.

Which is why I won’t be surprised in the least if the “Trojan Family” travels across town in droves to provide a presence in Pauley and to help inspire their hoopsters.

Bottom Line:  UCLA – all of Bruin Nation as well as the team – needs to be extremely up for this latest renewal of this heated rivalry.

They need to not only match ‘SC’s intensity, but (as far as the fans are concerned) surpass it in the form of packing Pauley Pavilion and being extremely vocal in their support the way they did against Kentucky and Arizona.

That is, if they want to avoid what would be a devastating and humiliating loss.

Personally, I am confident that the Bruins will do exactly that.

Which will result for what I see as a probable all-out war.

 

 

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 14:  Bryce Alford #20 of the UCLA Bruins tries to move the ball past Jordan McLaughlin #11 of the USC Trojans during the second period at Galen Center on January 14, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CA – JANUARY 14: Bryce Alford #20 of the UCLA Bruins tries to move the ball past Jordan McLaughlin #11 of the USC Trojans during the second period at Galen Center on January 14, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images) Photo courtesy of sportsworldreport.com

 

 

 

 

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