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The wife and I made the yearly trip to see the Bruins out in our neck of the woods. Last year was a laugher, as UCLA easily handled the hapless Beavers. The year prior was a little disappointing. Then-#1 UCLA came into Eugene and were handed their first loss of the season, sparking an old-fashioned storming of the court from the Pit Crew.

This year, with four of five starters gone, the Ducks would clearly be outmatched. Most of the fan chatter we heard prior to the game, both inside Mac Court and out, was a hope to lose by no more than 20.The Ducks gave their fans what they wanted, and then some.

For some reason, UCLA tends to struggle whenever they’re in Eugene, and Sunday’s performance was no expception. Their play was marred by sloppy ball control, and an utter disregard for their interior players. Despite lacking any reali interior size, UCLA remained almost entirely on the perimeter while on offense.

Clearly the team misses the presence of Russell Westbrook, Kevin Love, and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, but this was not what I’d expect. They have decent size in Alfred Aboya, Drew Gordon, and J’Mison Morgan, but they chose not to push inside.

What was nice was our seats, which were in an obstructed view section (so many of the upper level sections at Mac Court seem this way) were “upgraded” for free. Prior to tipoff, they invited people to come move into two completely empty sections, presumably to fill out the sections in view of the TV cameras. We ended up in the second tier, about 15 rows or so from the floor.

Here’s what our view looked like:

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Oregon kept it close, and drew to within three at one point. Kinda disheartening after seeing USC demolish them on Thursday. Then again, OSU took USC to overtime and won, so maybe USC isn’t the best measuring stick to use.

Of course in the end, the only view that mattered was this:

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I should mention that a large chunk of the paid attendance started leaving well before the clock stuck 0:00, something that ESPN talking heads seem to think only happens in L.A.

Well, something else that only happens in L.A. — the Bruins hang 11 NCAA Championship banners. Everybody else can hang their conference championship banners, their conference tournament banners, their NIT/NCAA tournament participation banners, and whatever else they want to hang from the rafters.

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