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

Final Four: What To Expect Ahead Of UCLA Versus Gonzaga




Jaylen Clark #0 of the UCLA Bruins celebrates defeating the Michigan Wolverines 51-49 in the Elite Eight round game of the 2021 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 30, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Jaylen Clark #0 of the UCLA Bruins celebrates defeating the Michigan Wolverines 51-49 in the Elite Eight round game of the 2021 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 30, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

Listen to story

08:44
Download this story 8MB

As he basked in the glow of a win over Michigan, UCLA coach Mick Cronin was asked whether he thought he had the kind of team in his second season in Westwood to make a Final Four run.

Cronin thought for a moment about five-star prospect Daishen Nix, who reneged on his commitment to the Bruins for the G League. Then he thought about the season-ending knee injury to Chris Smith, his top returning player, and backup forward Jalen Hill’s departure midway through the season for personal reasons. With those three? Maybe. Without them? “Hell no,” Cronin said.

Yet here they are. One of college basketball’s traditional powers, relegated to underdog status throughout the tournament, marching through heavyweights (Michigan State), upstarts (Abilene Christian and BYU), the flavor of the day (Alabama) and the team everyone had pegged as a championship contender since January (Michigan).Two of the wins in overtime. Two more white-knucklers. Only one in which the Bruins were given a chance.

Next up is the overall No. 1 seed Gonzaga on Saturday night in the program’s 19th trip to the national semifinals.

Today on AirTalk, we’re previewing UCLA’s game against Gonzaga tomorrow. Thoughts? Give us a call at 866-893-5722.

With files from the Associated Press

Guest:

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