UCLA basketball’s top 10 moments of 2020

UCLA coach Mick Cronin argues a call during a game against Washington State in February.
(Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

A look at the top 10 moments for the UCLA men’s basketball team in 2020.

1. March 12: With the Bruins surging into NCAA tournament consideration by going 11-3 to close the regular season, their season ends upon the abrupt cancellation of the Pac-12 and NCAA tournaments because of COVID-19. UCLA had already traveled to Las Vegas and was scheduled to play California in a conference tournament quarterfinal at T-Mobile Arena later in the day when the Bruins learned their season was over.

2. Feb. 29: After losing three of their first four Pac-12 games, the Bruins take over sole possession of first place in the Pac-12 standings with a 69-64 victory over Arizona that completes their first two-game sweep of the Wildcats since the 2012-13 season.


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3. Feb. 22: The Bruins rally from nine points down in the second half to pull out a 70-63 victory over No. 18 Colorado on the road after committing zero turnovers in the second half.

4. Jan. 2: Freshman shooting guard Jake Kyman makes seven three-pointers, including one that provides a two-point lead with eight seconds left, to nudge the Bruins past Washington 66-64 on the road in their conference opener.

5. Aug. 3: Chris Smith announces he will return for his senior season rather than enter the NBA draft, commencing a bid to become the Pac-12’s most valuable player after being selected its most improved one as a junior.

6. Feb. 27: Freshman shooting guard Jake Kyman draws comparisons to NBA legend Larry Bird from Arizona State coach Bobby Hurley after making five three-pointers during the first half of the Bruins’ 75-72 victory over the Sun Devils.

7. March 7: The Bruins suffer a crushing loss to USC at Galen Center that knocks them out of first place in the Pac-12 standings after Trojans guard Jonah Mathews sinks a three-pointer at the buzzer.

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8. Jan. 4: A late defensive breakdown cost the Bruins in a bad 79-71 overtime loss at Washington State.


9. Jan. 15: Mick Cronin unleashes a verbal tirade after a home loss to Stanford gives the Bruins a losing overall record to go with three defeats in their first four Pac-12 games. Cronin calls his player soft and selfish and says he might ask Chip Kelly, the school’s football coach, about importing some of his players to bring toughness.

10. Apr. 28: Daishen Nix, Mick Cronin’s first recruit and a projected NBA lottery pick, spurns the Bruins for a new G League academy that ends his college career before it begins.