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UCLA rises to No. 2 in latest AP poll after victory over Kentucky

Where does UCLA go after beating top-ranked Kentucky? Up, up, up. The Bruins rose nine spots to No. 2 in the Associated Press ranking Monday, their highest standing since they held the same position on Nov. 26, 2007. That season turned OK. UCLA went to the Final Four for a third consecutive time....

  • UCLA AD Dan Guerrero assesses the state of the Bruins' athletic program

    UCLA AD Dan Guerrero assesses the state of the Bruins' athletic program

    If UCLA truly were just a basketball school, it would be a joyous time for Athletic Director Dan Guerrero. The Bruins have won their first eight games, matching their best start in three years, and will take a No. 11 national ranking into a showdown against top-ranked Kentucky on Saturday. The...

  • Memories of Bruins' title game win in Wooden's farewell linger as UCLA and Kentucky renew acquaintances

    Memories of Bruins' title game win in Wooden's farewell linger as UCLA and Kentucky renew acquaintances

    The old Kentucky basketball coach answered the phone with pleasantries dipped in a molasses drawl. He spent the next few seconds chewing on a reporter’s question like a thick wad of tobacco. “I don’t want to talk about that,” he said flatly. “That was a bad moment.” Joe B. Hall went on to chat...

  • UCLA stays unbeaten with 98-56 win over UC Riverside

    UCLA stays unbeaten with 98-56 win over UC Riverside

    Another late start came with a bonus for UCLA. There was an early end to any drama. Bruins students had barely finished waving two hands at UC Riverside and deriding the Highlanders as the “loooooosing team” as part of their pregame ritual when the game was essentially decided. UCLA scored the...

  • Bruins show they can get gritty on defense

    Bruins show they can get gritty on defense

    As the game tightened, UCLA having yielded the seven-point lead over a matter of minutes, the Bruins did what Isaac Hamilton said would be required to win the Wooden Legacy. They got nastier on defense. It started with just under three minutes to play against Texas A&M on Sunday at the Honda Center,...

  • UCLA's Eddie Vanderdoes announces intention to declare for 2017 NFL Draft

    UCLA's Eddie Vanderdoes announces intention to declare for 2017 NFL Draft

    UCLA redshirt junior defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes announced Monday on Twitter that he will forgo his final season of eligibility and make himself available for the NFL draft. “I would like to thank everyone affiliated with UCLA Athletics, the UCLA football program and UCLA Academics for allowing...

  • The 'big shots' just keep coming for UCLA's Lonzo Ball

    The 'big shots' just keep coming for UCLA's Lonzo Ball

    The shots weren’t falling for Lonzo Ball. He missed a jumper. He airballed a three-pointer. He airballed another three. Of the first seven field goals the freshman point guard attempted, only one went in. Which only added to the superlatives used to describe his performance in the last 10 minutes...

  • UCLA finishes strong to beat Texas A&M for the Wooden Legacy title

    UCLA finishes strong to beat Texas A&M for the Wooden Legacy title

    It won’t always be Showtime for this incarnation of the UCLA Bruins. Not all fastbreaks and deft passes. There will be days like Sunday, when the game is more a struggle and the opponent has little interest in letting the Bruins run wild to some flashy highlight reel. Still, these Bruins showed...

  • Its offense in the tank, UCLA football releases coordinator Kennedy Polamalu

    Its offense in the tank, UCLA football releases coordinator Kennedy Polamalu

    The fallout from UCLA’s worst season since 2010 began Sunday when the university announced it would not retain offensive coordinator Kennedy Polamalu in the wake of the team’s epic struggles to move the ball. Polamalu oversaw a running game that ranked No. 127 among 128 Football Bowl Subdivision...

  • Bruins head home to stay for remainder of season after 36-10 loss to Cal

    Bruins head home to stay for remainder of season after 36-10 loss to Cal

    It was a farewell to harm’s way. UCLA will not be subjected to any further misery after its season ended Saturday evening in appropriately gloomy fashion, the Bruins faltering badly over the final two quarters of a 36-10 loss to California. At least there would be no need to ponder the potential...

  • Bruins’ run game disappoints again

    Bruins’ run game disappoints again

    For the briefest of moments Saturday, there was something new to UCLA’s run game. A flicker of hope. Nate Starks ran for 15 yards on the Bruins’ second drive and then followed it up on the next play with a 17-yard run in which he slipped a tackle while sprinting into California’s secondary. They...

  • Up next for UCLA basketball: Sunday vs. Texas A&M

    Up next for UCLA basketball: Sunday vs. Texas A&M

    When: 5:30 p.m., Sunday Where: Honda Center On the air: Radio: AM 570. TV: ESPN. Update: The Bruins are 4-0 against the Aggies, having last defeated them at the Honda Center in the 2008 NCAA tournament, 51-49. That was the last of UCLA's three consecutive trips to the Final Four. These Aggies are...

  • UCLA finds a way to win a close game, advances to Wooden Legacy title game

    UCLA finds a way to win a close game, advances to Wooden Legacy title game

    And now for something really different from the UCLA Bruins — a close game. The Bruins had breezed to an unbeaten mark in their first five games, winning by an average of 26.6 points per game.  They were a high-flying offensive machine, averaging 104.4 points per game. But Friday night against...

  • As Bruins end disappointing season, future success might be a matter of style

    As Bruins end disappointing season, future success might be a matter of style

    The season will end soon enough for UCLA. There are no such assurances of finality to the major issues beleaguering the Bruins. What is likely to be UCLA’s last game of the season Saturday against California at Memorial Stadium will not necessarily be the cutoff point for an inert running game,...

  • Can Cal or UCLA eke out a bowl bid with a win on Saturday?

    Can Cal or UCLA eke out a bowl bid with a win on Saturday?

    UCLA (4-7) at California (4-7) at Memorial Stadium. TV: ESPN2, 4 p.m. Most intriguing story line: This could be dubbed the APR Bowl. The winner of what otherwise seems like an inconsequential game could parlay a 5-7 record and its Academic Progress Rate score into a bowl bid if there are not enough...

  • UCLA pulls away in second half to rout Portland, 99-77

    UCLA pulls away in second half to rout Portland, 99-77

    The steady play of freshman starters Lonzo Ball and T.J. Leaf has given UCLA basketball fans reason to be optimistic so far this season, but it was the leadership and production of senior guards Bryce Alford and Isaac Hamilton that set the table for a 99-77 victory over Portland on Thursday night...

  • College basketball: Baylor will play Louisville in Battle 4 Atlantis final; Arizona holds off Santa Clara

    College basketball: Baylor will play Louisville in Battle 4 Atlantis final; Arizona holds off Santa Clara

    Johnathan Motley scored 20 of his 26 points in the first half to lead No. 20 Baylor to a 73-58 victory over No. 24 Michigan State on Thursday to reach the Battle 4 Atlantis championship game at Paradise Island, Bahamas.  Jo Lual-Acuil Jr. added 14 points and eight rebounds — nearly all in the second...

  • For UCLA's Takkarist McKinley, final game at Cal is a fitting end to his career

    For UCLA's Takkarist McKinley, final game at Cal is a fitting end to his career

    Never one to hold back, Takkarist McKinley had something to say before he took questions from reporters. “It’s my last full padded practice of my UCLA career,” McKinley said Wednesday. “Thank you, Jesus.” A standout career is ending on a melancholy note for the senior defensive end. He has appeared...

  • The best games to watch in an action-packed college football weekend

    The best games to watch in an action-packed college football weekend

    Break out the chips and cold drinks, but let Mike Hiserman handle the remote. The Times’ deputy sports editor handicaps what’s worth watching, and skipping, on this weekend’s menu of college football games. :: FRIDAY MORNING 9 a.m.: Houston at Memphis, Channel 7; North Carolina State at North Carolina,...

  • Letters: Bruins not getting anywhere in this rivalry

    Letters: Bruins not getting anywhere in this rivalry

    Before the season, UCLA was said to have the better team, better quarterback, better coach, better schedule and better chance to win the Pac-12, but after their latest epic fail, in the form of a thorough beat-down administered by the far superior and more talented Trojans, it’s clear the Bruins...

  • UCLA may switch sidelines at the Rose Bowl next season

    UCLA may switch sidelines at the Rose Bowl next season

    UCLA may no longer look on the bright side of things at the Rose Bowl. The school’s athletic department, in conjunction with the student fan group “The Den,” has sent an email survey to students asking whether they would be in favor of moving sections to allow Bruins players to switch sidelines...

  • Unbeaten Bruins could have their first taste of adversity in Wooden Legacy tournament

    Unbeaten Bruins could have their first taste of adversity in Wooden Legacy tournament

    Steve Alford knows it’s coming despite the high-scoring romps, the nonstop ball movement, the feeling that UCLA’s early season euphoria might stretch all the way into late March. There will be a time when the shots don’t fall so easily, the ball gets stuck in a few players’ hands, the scoreboard...

  • After UCLA's promising start, the ground attack runs down in loss to USC

    After UCLA's promising start, the ground attack runs down in loss to USC

    The game was over, and so were five years of competing at the Rose Bowl. UCLA quarterback Mike Fafaul and left tackle Conor McDermott, longtime teammates and roommates, returned to midfield and lay down on the turf to contemplate the end of a journey. A wholly unsatisfying end. “It’s very emotional...

  • UCLA Coach Jim Mora on USC quarterback Sam Darnold: 'He gave us fits'

    UCLA Coach Jim Mora on USC quarterback Sam Darnold: 'He gave us fits'

    Before USC was comfortably coasting past UCLA, when the game was in the balance and the Rose Bowl crowd was still hanging onto every play, Sam Darnold showed why Saturday night was going to be a long one for the Bruins’ defense. Facing third and nine and with the pocket quickly collapsing, Darnold...

  • UCLA honors seniors before game against USC

    UCLA honors seniors before game against USC

    It is the place where Mike Fafaul set two school records, Randall Goforth returned an interception for a touchdown to preserve a victory and Takkarist McKinley made quarterback after quarterback quiver in his cleats. The Rose Bowl will always hold special meaning for the UCLA seniors who played...

  • Up next for UCLA basketball: Sunday vs. Long Beach State

    Up next for UCLA basketball: Sunday vs. Long Beach State

    When: 7 p.m. Sunday. Where: Pauley Pavilion. On the air: TV: Pac-12 Networks; Radio: 570. Update: This will qualify as the closest thing to a home game for Long Beach State until next month. The  49ers (1-3) are in the midst of a madcap stretch of nine games in eight states and it hasn’t started...

  • Andrew Marincovich went from the 1944 Rose Bowl with USC to the shores of Iwo Jima, and he still hates UCLA

    Andrew Marincovich went from the 1944 Rose Bowl with USC to the shores of Iwo Jima, and he still hates UCLA

    Andrew Marincovich experienced the full tapestry of the USC-UCLA football rivalry, attending both schools and playing right guard for the Trojans’ 1944 Rose Bowl champions. Spending New Year’s Day in Pasadena was a prelude to a far more exhilarating red, white and blue endeavor. “Five months later,”...

  • Pick with (or against) the college football experts

    Pick with (or against) the college football experts

    Each week, the Los Angeles Times’ contingent of college football experts — it’s how they refer to themselves — will make choices on a variety of games. Warning: If they could accurately predict results, they wouldn’t be reporters or editors. Their picks: :: Ben Bolch Washington State at Colorado:...

  • UCLA steps up on defense to improve to 3-0 with 20-point win

    UCLA steps up on defense to improve to 3-0 with 20-point win

    UCLA’s offense had done its triple-digit thing in the season’s early going, showing itself to be a battering ram capable of piercing an opponent’s psyche in a variety of ways. The Bruins’ game Thursday night was mostly a chance to learn about their defense. San Diego featured the Princeton offense,...

  • For former UCLA football hero Eric McNeal, it's always 8:47

    For former UCLA football hero Eric McNeal, it's always 8:47

    He didn’t get famous. He didn’t get rich. He didn’t even get an easy ride home; he had to walk several miles through darkened Pasadena streets to find a friend’s car. His jersey from that day is hanging in a closet wrapped in dry-cleaner plastic. His gloves and sweatband are stuffed in the back...

  • Ten years later, 'that game' against UCLA still stings John David Booty and USC

    Ten years later, 'that game' against UCLA still stings John David Booty and USC

    Time has taken the edge off the pain. Former USC quarterback John David Booty answers an inquiry with a laugh. “Why do y’all always want to talk about that game?” Booty says over the phone. Ten years have passed since that game, known in the USC-UCLA rivalry simply as “13-9,” a crushing memory...

  • UCLA officials and police prepare for late game against USC at Rose Bowl

    UCLA officials and police prepare for late game against USC at Rose Bowl

    UCLA’s rivalry game against USC will kick off at about 7:30 p.m. Saturday, the first night game at the Rose Bowl between the teams since 2010. Police and school officials hope security measures enacted since then make the start time the only similarity between the games. A melee involving 50 to...

  • Best college football games to watch this week

    Best college football games to watch this week

    Break out the chips and cold drinks, but let Mike Hiserman handle the remote. The Times’ deputy sports editor handicaps what’s worth watching, and skipping, on this weekend’s menu of college football games. FRIDAY Nevada Las Vegas at No. 20 Boise State, 6 p.m., ESPN2 It’s always fun to check in...

  • Backup QBs have history of strong efforts vs. USC

    Backup QBs have history of strong efforts vs. USC

    Mike Fafaul hasn’t met or spoken with Patrick Cowan. He probably wouldn’t mind if they were forever linked after Saturday. Cowan was the most recent in a string of UCLA backup quarterbacks who improbably helped nudge the Bruins to victory over USC. The tradition goes back to at least 1966, when...

  • Rivalry excitement is twofold for one-time Trojan

    Rivalry excitement is twofold for one-time Trojan

    Allegiances were tested from the moment Caleb Wilson arrived at USC to play for a coaching staff that included his father. Chris Wilson coached the defensive line. Caleb was a walk-on tight end. When Caleb caught a touchdown pass during a scrimmage against Chris’ defense, the father remained a...

  • Up next for UCLA basketball: Thursday vs. San Diego

    Up next for UCLA basketball: Thursday vs. San Diego

    NEXT UP FOR UCLA vs. San Diego When: 8 p.m. Thursday. Where: Pauley Pavilion. On the air: TV: Pac-12 Network; Radio: 570. Records: San Diego 0-2; UCLA 2-0. Update: San Diego utilizes a Princeton-style offense that features lots of backdoor cuts and misdirection but hasn’t really fooled anyone...

  • UCLA basketball report: Steve Alford looking for leadership

    UCLA basketball report: Steve Alford looking for leadership

    Steve Alford is openly seeking a few L’s early in the season. Leaders, that is. The UCLA basketball coach acknowledged his team’s deficiency in that department after its victory over Cal State Northridge on Sunday. The Bruins rallied after a lackluster first half but received too much prodding...

  • UCLA receiver Jordan Lasley is his own worst critic

    UCLA receiver Jordan Lasley is his own worst critic

    Jordan Lasley jotted down some notes and brought them along to the UCLA receivers meeting Monday. Keep ball leverage. Play harder. Finish plays. Catch everything that comes my way. It was a lengthy to-do list for someone who had caught five passes for a team-high 105 yards and returned a blocked...

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