Mick Cronin, UCLA Agree to 2-Year Contract Extension After Run to Final 4

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVApril 8, 2021

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The UCLA Bruins surpassed all expectations by going from the First Four to the Final Four during the 2021 NCAA men's tournament, and head coach Mick Cronin received a contract extension as a result.

Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports first reported the news.

It wasn't just that UCLA made the Final Four but how it did so that stood out.

It overcame a double-digit deficit and outlasted Michigan State in a hard-fought overtime battle in the First Four, upset the sixth-seeded BYU Cougars by 11 points in the first round, persevered again in overtime against Alabama in the Sweet 16 and then used a dominant defensive performance to stun top-seeded Michigan in the Elite Eight.

The run only came to an end when Jalen Suggs drilled a buzzer-beater from just inside half court to propel Gonzaga to a victory in the Final Four matchup.

Such an impressive showing during the tournament was surely a welcome development after the Bruins were somewhat inconsistent at the start of Cronin's tenure.

They went 19-12 during his first season in 2019-20 and barely made the Big Dance in 2020-21 at 17-9 on Selection Sunday. They lost their final three regular-season games and their first contest in the Pac-12 tournament to Oregon State before bouncing back in dramatic fashion.

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Expectations are now sky-high for Cronin's bunch entering the next campaign.

UCLA checks in at No. 3 in very early rankings from Jeff Goodman of Stadium and No. 2 on the list from ESPN's Jeff Borzello.