Now it’s for Reel: Tonight is the Due Date of the Hereafter for Ben “Megamind” Howland’s Unstoppable, re-stocked Bruins to reach for the Skyline, and for fans who Saw Red for 127 Hours last year to feel some Morning Glory with Conviction, right from this season’s Inception
The Exhibition Season was boffo, but you’re not a box office sensation until you can play in Peoria — and Westwood — when the actual chips are down. Tonight, it counts. The Regular Season starts at 7:30pm, when the UCLA Basketball Bruins take on Cal State Northridge.
The Bruins are trying to erase the memory of their first losing season in ages, and return to the Big Dance. UCLA is picked by Media “experts” to finish third in the Pac-10 this year, behind Washington and Arizona, and if they live up to those expectations, they SHOULD qualify for the NCAA Tournament. There is absolutely no guarantee that the 3rd-place team goes dancing, so the Bruins need to start TONIGHT, by not taking anyone too lightly, and giving their best effort every night. As of tonight, every game matters. This isn’t Major League Baseball. This is NCAA Basketball, and a loss to Northridge in November could easily come back to haunt the Bruins in March.
Head Coach Ben Howland is already off to a better start than last year: The two Exhibition games were easy wins, and the lack of team chemistry from last year is a thing of the past. By getting rid of one bad apple and another guy who didn’t come close to living up to his potential, Howland has fostered an environment of teamwork and comraderie that wasn’t evident last year. Also, the shift to a faster-paced attack has seemed to cheer the players up, and psych them up for the 2010-2011 campaign.
And speaking of being psyched up, here are another thirteen lucky photos of the UCLA Spirit Squad, just to get you in the mood. Click on the pics to make them even more uplifting.