Lively and in-depth discussions of city news, politics, science, entertainment, the arts, and more.
Hosted by Larry Mantle
Airs Weekdays 10 am - 12 pm

March Madness 2021: USC And UCLA Both Headed Make It To Elite Eight




Jaylen Clark of the UCLA Bruins celebrates with Johnny Juzang and Mac Etienne after defeating Alabama in the Sweet Sixteen round game of the 2021 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament on March 28, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Jaylen Clark of the UCLA Bruins celebrates with Johnny Juzang and Mac Etienne after defeating Alabama in the Sweet Sixteen round game of the 2021 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament on March 28, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Listen to story

18:04
Download this story 17MB

The Elite Eight marks the halfway point of the NCAA Tournament, but don’t blink. It has the shelf life of chicken nuggets.

By the time your head hits the pillow tomorrow night, we’ll be down to a Final Four and find out whether the selection committee is any better at seeding teams than the cooks at your local McDonalds.

Three of the four teams handed No. 1s — Gonzaga, Baylor and Michigan — are still in the field, which is average. But so are three Pac-12 Conference teams — No. 6 USC, No. 11 UCLA and No. 12 Oregon State — which definitely is not. Needless to say, the road would have been a lot smoother for the Pac-12 entries if their league got anywhere near the respect the Big Ten and Big 12 carried inside the room where it (seeding) happens.

USC and UCLA were the last two teams to claim their seats Sunday. The Trojans handily beat fellow Pac-12 member and seventh-seeded Oregon, while the Bruins needed overtime — after a last-second hiccup — to put away No. 2 Alabama 88-78.

“I’ll never live that one down,” UCLA coach Mick Cronin said afterward. “The kids bailed me out.”

In the two other games, Gonzaga looked unbeatable one more time while steamrolling No. 5 Creighton 83-65, while Michigan had surprisingly little trouble shaking No. 4 Florida State 76-58, once again displaying the kind of balance and depth to upend the Zags’ (29-0) quest for a title and the first perfect season since the 1975-76 Indiana Hoosiers.

With files from the Associated Press

Guests:

Ryan Kartje, USC beat writer at the Los Angeles Times; he tweets @Ryan_Kartje

Ben Bolch, UCLA beat writer at the Los Angeles Times; he tweets @latbbolch