NCAA Commentator Believes PAC-12 Conference and UCLA Bruins Have Been Underrated

Published 03/30/2021, 1:14 PM EDT
Mar 28, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; The UCLA Bruins celebrate beating the Alabama Crimson Tide in the Sweet Sixteen of the 2021 NCAA Tournament at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Doug McSchooler-USA TODAY Sports


The UCLA Bruins are having one hell of a run in the NCAA Tournament. They are going up against the one-seeded Michigan Wolverines in a game that pits two contrasting conferences together. The Wolverines represent the ‘stacked’ Big Ten, while the Bruins represent the often maligned PAC-12 conference.

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The Big Ten entered the tournament with six teams, but the Wolverines were the only team to make it till the Sweet Sixteen. The PAC-12 teams on the other hand went into most of their games as underdogs. But they would have a dream run, with three teams reaching the Sweet Sixteen.

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With the UCLA Bruins trying to make it into the Final Four over the Michigan Wolverines, legendary NCAA broadcaster Dick Vitale spoke to ESPN about how underrated the PAC-12 has been all season. Even the Bruins. Despite being on the best team’s in the nation last season, the Bruins had to fight for ranked spots on the AP Poll consistently this season.

“You look right now. It is amazing to have three teams in the elite eight from a conference that people gave no respect to, none whatsoever. You talk about UCLA? I’m just amazed at the job he has done. The kid Juzang, Jacquez, and Campbell, their point guard is awesome.”

UCLA Bruins: Can they continue their Cinderella run?

The UCLA Bruins are one of the better teams in the nation. While the media didn’t give them their roses during the season because they seemed overrated, this season the Bruins are coming down to prove why they are very dangerous. It has been highly effective so far, but may struggle against Michigan’s elite defense.

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Mar 28, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide guard Jaden Shackelford (5) drives to the basket against UCLA Bruins forward Cody Riley (2) and guard Tyger Campbell (10) during the first half in the Sweet Sixteen of the 2021 NCAA Tournament at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Doug McSchooler-USA TODAY Sports

Watching an 11-seed make the Final Four of the tournament would be very fun and historic. Not many teams in history can claim that, and they are one win away from joining the select-few to have done that in the past.

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The Wolverines give matchup nightmares for the Bruins. However, they are also very well-coached under Juwan Howard. So this will be a hard-fought battle where people will be watching to see if the Wolverines are going to win. The team is good enough and could make a run in the future.

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Ishaan Bhattacharya

1510 articles

Ishaan Bhattacharya is an NBA, NCAA Basketball, and Combat Sports writer at EssentiallySports. Currently, Ishaan is pursuing a Post Graduate Degree in Journalism from Xavier's Institute of Communication. Previously, Ishaan has written for The Indian Express, The Quint, Sportskeeda, and WrestleClub.

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