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UCLA’s Mick Cronin Blasts NCAA Committee for Bracket Preview Seedings

UCLA coach Mick Cronin wasn’t exactly thrilled with the NCAA Division I men’s basketball committee’s tournament bracket preview seedings on Saturday.

The Bruins, ranked No. 4 in the nation, were not projected as one of the four No. 1 seeds for this year’s NCAA tournament. Instead, the committee placed UCLA as the eighth overall seed.

No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Houston, No. 3 Purdue and No. 5 Kansas were identified as the projected top seeds.

“If you ask my one-word answer on that ranking—comical,” Cronin said, via The Associated Press. “I’m going to try not to laugh.”

Even though Cronin wasn’t pleased with how the committee ranked the 23–4 Bruins, he admitted that seeding in the NCAA tournament doesn’t always matter. In 2021, for example, Cronin and UCLA made it to the Final Four as a No. 11 seed.

“A couple years ago, we proved your seed doesn’t matter,” Cronin said. “I’ll wait for the final bracket to be excited or not excited. Probably excited.”

The committee selected UCLA’s Pac-12 rivals, Arizona, as the sixth overall seed. Arizona is currently ranked No. 8 in the nation with a 24–4 record. The Wildcats beat the Bruins, 58-52, last month. The two teams will meet again March 4 in their final regular-season game.