College Basketball: Don't Hate UCLA

Reggie GarciaCorrespondent IMarch 29, 2008

Just recently I read an article on Yahoo! Sports saying UCLA is the new hated team in college basketball, upending Duke's long run. As Kevin Love stated "They're calling us the Duke of the west coast..".

Its fair to hate a team that showboats, bad mouths coaches, MAKES distractions off the court, and acts like they have never "been there before"

 Unfortunately UCLA is none of those. 

    When you think of UCLA, most people think of the great John Wooden, the countless national championships, and the overall success in really all sports. But to crown them the most hated is just unfair for UCLA fans and all of college basketball. At 35-3 and rolling over Xavier in what looks to be the most dominating performance in the tournament, most Bruins players have nothing but good sportsmanship and heart felt comments over there opponent, but with success comes people who want you to fail (Cal fans I know your reading this). 

Going back to Duke, during the early 90's they were undoubtedly the best basketball team of their decade respectively, so many great players, great wins, and it seemed like they could not be stopped. But the problem of their success was it seemed like everyone outside of the Duke campus was enjoying their rein of terror, and I can imagine the grimace on Tar Heel's fans as they watch UNC run through the tourney and imagine how bad the taste in Duke's mouth is after being manhandled by the Huggin's led West Virginia. UCLA Bruins have won 10 straight games, games that up until the last seconds could have gone bad for the Bruins, and the media has had a field day saying the Bruins can lose any week and will.  Be it that it may be not only be the current success, but the history of the famed Bruins basketball program.

    Wooden won 10 NCAA Championships, Harrick won it all once, so 11 championships in 13 appearances, 2 losses sting for any team, but they become the only team since the 2001 Michigan State Sprtans to go to 3 straight Final Fours, bringing their total to 18 Final Four Appearances, 18!, remember numbers dont lie. I can go on and on and on about all of the Bruins basketball team, but you cant tell me those numbers don't get Cal, Arizona, USC, and Oregon fans mad.

I have been to Pauley Pavilion before to watch a Bruins game against the University of Washington, in a losing effort though. Throughout the game the fans of the home team were the nicest I have been around, offering me fries, peanuts, and high fives. Now I am not using that as a part of my arguement that UCLA should not be hated, but come on, if you dont like those kids from So.Cal and have not been to a game, go ahead and try it, they wont bite.

      Dont judge a book..I mean, team by its cover. and for all of the NCAA teams, you have time on your side to get that good, but until then, give respect to the real "titletown".