17. UCLA (6-2)
Early losses to Illinois and Baylor in Las Vegas were unfortunate, but the Bruins are bouncing back from that early road bump. UCLA has talent, with a few players still around from that Final Four run just two seasons ago. These Bruins are also in great position for success against a weak Pac-12, and they got their conference season off to a solid start this past week.
Their only game of the week was beginning that conference journey, traveling to Palo Alto and defeating Stanford 80-66. The Bruins were up 21 at the half and held on during the second half for the nice early December win. Jaime Jaquez Jr. had 27 points while Amari Bailey had 19 points, playing a big part in the Bruins shooting 59% from the field.
Their two losses are to ranked squads away from home and they’ve taken care of business with little drama in their other matchups. The offense has looked especially good since returning from Vegas, aside from some long-range struggles a few weeks ago against Bellarmine. They’re getting some nice performances from this roster, especially Jaquez and Jaylen Clark. A home date with Oregon on Sunday thrusts the Bruins further into conference play, though there are still a few very challenging games on the nonconference slate later in the month.