mar 6, 2017 | clay fowler | inland valley daily bulletin-LA Daily news | ARTICLE LINK
UCLA remained No. 3 in Monday’s Associated Press men’s basketball poll, receiving three first-place votes for the second consecutive week.
The Bruins completed the regular season with a win over Washington State on Saturday to extend their winning streak to nine games. UCLA’s 28 wins tied the most in a regular season in school history.
Kansas maintained its hold on the No. 1 ranking for a second consecutive week. No. 2 Villanova and No. 4 Gonzaga sandwich UCLA. Oregon moved up one spot to No. 5, trading places with North Carolina, which dropped to No. 6. Arizona stayed put at No. 7.
The Bruins (28-3, 15-3 Pac-12) finished third in the Pac-12, a game behind regular-season conference co-champions Oregon and Arizona.
UCLA is seeded third in the Pac-12 tournament, making them one of four teams to receive a bye into the quarterfinals. The Bruins will open postseason play Thursday night at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas against the winner of a first-round game between USC and Washington.
Having split the season series with both Arizona and Oregon, UCLA could certainly affect its NCAA tournament seed with its performance against those two teams in particular in the conference tournament.
CBS Sports’ Jerry Palm current projects UCLA as a No. 2 seed in the South. ESPN’s Joe Lunardi slots the Bruins as the No. 3 seed in the Midwest.
Freshman forward TJ Leaf is expected to return from a sprained ankle suffered Wednesday for UCLA’s Pac-12 tournament quarterfinal game Thursday.