Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Current State of UCLA and UH Programs, Heading into 2005 Post-Season

For the next three weeks or so, the hearts and minds of college basketball fans will, of course, be focused on current events -- namely the post-season tournaments of March Madness -- rather than historical reflections. For this reason, I will be posting very lightly, if at all, on this site during this period.

An encouraging development is that both UCLA and UH appear to have turned their programs in a positive direction, after some difficulties in recent years.

The Bruins, under second-year Coach Ben Howland, will be returning to the NCAA tournament after a couple years' absence.

The Cougars, meanwhile, are also returning to post-season play, as first-year Coach Tom Penders has guided them into the NIT (as I write this, I have learned that UH has lost to Wichita State in the opening round; box score).

I am hoping that UCLA and Houston will play each other in January of 2008 to mark the 40th anniversary of the Game of the Century. The better the Bruin and Cougar programs do in the years leading into '08, the more attractive such a potential match-up would be to TV networks (although I hope UCLA and UH schedule a game on the 40th anniversary, even if there's no national television).

Anyway, things are looking up for the two programs, and let's enjoy the rest of March Madness!