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Word From Westwood - Mar. 19, 2013
By: UCLA Athletics

Word From Westwood

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Mar. 19, 2013

All eyes are on the UCLA basketball teams this week as they begin play in the NCAA Tournament, the men in Texas and the women in Ohio (more information on both below).

UCLA is one of only seven colleges/universities (and the only one in the Pac-12) in the 2012-13 season to have both its basketball teams participating in the "Big Dance" and have its football team compete in a bowl game. Let the tip-offs begin ...

New Pauley Pavilion one of Five Nominees for Top Sports Industry Award
UCLA was honored to learn that New Pauley Pavilion is one of five new facilities selected as a nominee in the Sports Facility of the Year category for the 2013 Sports Business Awards, presented by Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal and SportsBusiness Daily.

Pauley, which opened in October after a $136-million renovation, was nominated alongside the following new stadiums and arenas:

  • Amon G. Carter Stadium, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, Texas
  • Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York
  • JetBlue Park, Fort Myers, Florida
  • Marlins Park, Miami, Florida

    Pauley Pavilion

    The inclusion of New Pauley on this exclusive list is a testament to the Campaign of Champions Committee and the thousands of donors that have made the building a rousing success, not to mention the efforts of all those who put countless hours into the project.

    The Sports Business Awards recognize excellence and outstanding achievement in the business of sports for the period from March 1, 2012 through February 28, 2013. Sports facilities (new, renovated or established) in North America whose primary function is hosting and staging sports events were eligible. Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony that will be held Wednesday, May 22, at the New York Marriott Marquis at Times Square.

    Click here to see an article from the Los Angeles Times' David Wharton on Pauley's nomination.

    NCAA March Madness

    Men's Basketball Finishes Second in Pac-12 Tourney, Heads to Austin for NCAAs
    After falling short in the championship game to Oregon on Saturday night in the first-ever Pac-12 Men's Basketball Tournament played in Las Vegas, the UCLA men's basketball team (25-9, 13-5 Pac 12) has earned a No. 6 seed in the NCAA Tournament and will face No. 11 seed Minnesota (20-12, 8-10 Big Ten) on Friday, March 22 at 6:57 pm PT on truTV.

    Selected to the South Region, the Bruins will play their second-round tournament game at the Frank Erwin Events Center on the campus of the University of Texas in Austin. The winner of Friday's contest will play the winner of No. 3 seed Florida vs. No. 14 seed Northwestern State on Sunday, March 24, also in Austin.

    For more information, please visit the NCAA Tournament Central page on

    Bruins fans making the trek to Austin are encouraged to attend the pregame Bruin Bash at the Old School Bar and Grill (401 East 6th Street) Friday afternoon from 4-6 pm CT. Enjoy an unlimited buffet, performances by the UCLA Band & Spirit Squad, two drink tickets and the atmosphere of downtown Austin. Tickets are $35 pre-sale and $40 at the door. To order tickets, click here.

    NCAA Women's Tournament

    Women's Basketball Draws #3 Seed and Faces Stetson to Begin NCAA Tourney
    The women's basketball team (25-7, 14-4 Pac-12) earned a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament and will face No. 14 seed Stetson (24-8, 14-4 Atlantic Sun) on Saturday, March 23 at 10:40 am (PT) in first-round action.

    The game will be televised live on ESPN2 and will also be broadcast live on with Dave Marcus and Mike Sondheimer on the call.

    Selected to the Oklahoma City Region, the Pac-12 Tournament runners-up will play their first-round tournament game at St. John Arena on the campus of The Ohio State University. The winner of UCLA-Stetson will face the winner of sixth-seeded Oklahoma and 11th seeded Central Michigan on Monday in the second round.

    This marks UCLA's 12th NCAA Tournament appearance in school history and the first for second-year head coach Cori Close.

    NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament Tickets Available Now
    UCLA is selling ticket packages for the NCAA Women's Basketball tournament first and second round games in Columbus, Ohio. For more information or to purchase tickets, please click here.

    Another Perfect 10 for Zamarripa Leads Bruins Past Razorbacks in Pauley
    Led by a perfect 10 by Vanessa Zamarripa on vault (watch here), the eighth of her career, the #8-ranked gymnastics team matched its season-high team total in the regular season finale last Sunday, scoring 197.425 to defeat Arkansas, which scored 196.6.

    On a glorious Senior Day in Pauley Pavilion, the Bruins' fifth-year seniors came up big. In addition to scoring a 10 on vault, Zamarripa won uneven bars with a 9.95 and the all-around with a season-high-tying 39.675. Alyssa Pritchett hit career-highs on both vault and floor exercise, and Kaelie Baer scored a career-high on vault for the third-straight meet. The Bruins will defend their conference title this Saturday when they compete at the Pac-12 Championships at Oregon State. The meet will be televised live at 7 pm on the Pac-12 Networks.

    Save the Dates: UCLA Coaches to Go "On the Road" This Spring
    Several UCLA coaches, highlighted by football coach Jim Mora, will hit the road for a cadre of events with fans throughout the Southland later this spring. The dates are as follows: May 29 (San Fernando Valley); June 5 (Orange County), June 11 (Pasadena) and June 22 (Orange County). Details will be announced in the coming weeks, but be sure to hold the date for the event in your area.

    Olympic Sports Report

    • The #3-ranked men's tennis team had just one match last week, as the Bruins edged No. 21 Tulsa, 4-3 at the Los Angeles Tennis Center. The team will not be in action again until a March 29 match at Cal.
    • The #4-ranked women's water polo team was off last week to prepare for finals week. The Bruins are 18-3 and 1-1 in the MPSF on the year, and return to action this weekend. UCLA will host league newcomer, Cal State Bakersfield, on Sunday at Spieker Aquatics Center at 1 pm.
    • The #5-ranked men's volleyball team extended its winning streak to four matches last week with a pair of five-set road victories against Long Beach State and Cal State Northridge. The Bruins will break for finals this week before returning to action on March 29 at UC San Diego, and March 30 at UC Irvine.
    • The #5-ranked women's tennis team opened up Pac-12 play last week, downing both Utah and Colorado by identical 6-1 scores. Next up for the Bruins is a March 22 showdown with Washington State in Pullman.
    • The #11-ranked Christoph Bono to win in 15 innings on Saturday afternoon before Nick Vander Tuig threw a complete game shutout to earn the win in the nightcap. UCLA took home a 3-0 win over the Huskies on Sunday to earn the sweep. The Bruins will wrap up their homestand this weekend as they continue Pac-12 play against California at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
    • The #12-ranked softball defeated North Dakota State in its lone game of the week last Tuesday and will open up Pac-12 play against #2-ranked Arizona State at Easton Stadium this Friday through Sunday (game times are at 7, 6 and 12 pm).
    • Diver Emma Ivory-Ganja qualified for the NCAA Championships at last week's NCAA Zone E Championships in Colorado Springs and now joins nine swimmers in Indianapolis this week for the NCAA Championships, which run from Thursday through Saturday.
    • The track and field program opened the outdoor season with two event victories at the Aztec Invitational this weekend in San Diego. Ida Storm won the women's hammer throw with a career-best toss, and Allison Koressel took first in the women's pole vault. The men did not compete in San Diego and will instead begin their outdoor season next Saturday in San Marcos, Texas in the Texas State Elite Meet.
    • The UCLA rowing program completed several scrimmage races against Gonzaga last Saturday morning in Marina del Rey. The Bruins will return to action at the two-day San Diego Crew Classic on April 6-7.
    • A historic first week for the UCLA Meg Norton and Kelly Reeves at the USC bracket tournament on Sunday. The Bruins will have another first this Thursday when they host fellow first-year team Nebraska at the Annenberg Beach House in Santa Monica at 1 pm.

    Thoughts from the Athletic Director

    After spending four days in Las Vegas for the Pac-12 Men's Basketball Tournament, I can certainly say that the change in location has been a healthy move for the conference's annual showcase event. As much as I miss having the tournament right down the street at Staples Center, Las Vegas proved itself as a marquee destination in year one.

    The MGM Grand was buzzing with fans from every one of the 12 schools all weekend long, and the Pac-12 Tournament was proudly on display all throughout the sprawling complex. Whether it was the Pac-12 mascots waiting in the grand lobby to check out of the hotel, or pep rallies at the pool, or the stage in the front of the entrance adorned with a scaled-down version of the tournament court, along with the iconic golden lions of the MGM, our conference was everywhere you went.

    One of the hallmark events of Championship Weekend, in addition to the games themselves, is the annual Pac-12 Hall of Honor ceremony, which recognizes one men's basketball student-athlete from each member institution. This year, Bruin great Lucius Allen was our honoree and joined an elite group of roundball legends.

    It was wonderful to see him collect the honor in front of a packed house at the Saturday ceremony, but it was even more special to witness the ovation he received from the Bruin faithful when he and his fellow honorees were announced at the championship game that night.

    Speaking of championship games, I want to thank all those of you who made the trip to support the team in Las Vegas, and those of you who supported the women's team the previous weekend in Seattle. Both teams advanced to the final games of their respective tournaments, and your support of these student-athletes continues to be essential to their success as they progress in the postseason. We hope to see you in either Austin, Texas or Columbus, Ohio this weekend as the Big Dance begins.

    Go Bruins!

    Dan Guerrero
    UCLA Athletic Director

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