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UCLA basketball enters home-and-home series with Michigan

UCLA basketball enters home-and-home series with Michigan
UCLA guard Aaron Holiday streaks up court after stealing the ball from Washington forward Noah Dickerson during the second half of a game at Pauley Pavilion on Jan. 28. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

The UCLA basketball team was searching for its next marquee home-and-home series. It has found it.

The Bruins have entered into a two-season series with Michigan, the school announced Friday. UCLA will host the Wolverines on Dec. 10. The game at Michigan is scheduled for December 2017, at a date to be determined.

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In recent seasons, the Bruins' non-conference schedule has been one of the toughest among power conference teams. UCLA Coach Steve Alford prefers at least one marquee home game each season. Two seasons ago, it was against Gonzaga. Last season, it was Kentucky (the Bruins will play at Kentucky next season).

UCLA's non-conference schedule will include the Wooden Legacy tournament, during the week of Thanksgiving, and a game against Ohio State in Las Vegas as part of the CBS Sports Classic on Dec. 17. The game at Kentucky is slated for Dec. 3.

Michigan is not a good bet to be ranked in the top 25 early in the season, but its roster will be heavy with experience. The Wolverines went 23-13 last season, including a win in the NCAA tournament play-in game against Tulsa, before being eliminated by Notre Dame in the first round.

"This will be a fantastic matchup for college basketball fans, given the opportunity to watch a pair of tradition-rich programs from two marquee conferences battle it out before league play," Alford said in a statement.

Twitter: @zhelfand

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