The No. 6 seed UCLA Bruins' season has been filled with ups and downs. They have had to incorporate a host of new players and try to establish chemistry on the fly.
Even when you have a player as talented as Shabazz Muhammad lighting it up for you, things don’t always go smoothly.
UCLA was erratic in the first month-and-a-half of the season, losing an early game to Cal Poly. More recently, the Bruins were putting it all together, beating Arizona three times.
But during the Pac-12 tournament, UCLA lost its second-leading scorer, Jordan Adams, to a broken foot. So, as they open against No. 11 seed Minnesota, they are facing a significant challenge even as the favorite.
The Golden Gophers have a super-strong frontcourt that was able to do work against Indiana, Michigan State, Memphis and Wisconsin.
If the Bruins can find scoring from some other source, they may make it to the round of 32. If not, Bruins coach Ben Howland could be on the hot seat.