March 8, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Arizona Wildcats forward Solomon Hill (44) moves the ball against the defense of UCLA Bruins guard Jerime Anderson (5) and forward Travis Wear (24) during the second round of the 2012 Pac 12 Tournament in the second half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE
The Arizona-UCLA basketball rivalry brought national attention to the West Coast in the late 1980s and through the 1990s, but the programs hit hard times that had one or the other struggling for most of the 2000s.
A sign that the rivalry may indeed be back is that ESPN is bringing its College GameDay broadcast to Westwood for the Wildcats and Bruins' March 2 tilt this season.
GameDay's sole trip to Pac-12 Country is this date, so plan accordingly.
UA hosted GameDay last season for its showdown with Washington at McKale Center. The Wildcats lost a back-and-forth contest to the Huskies, 69-67.
UCLA returns to a renovated Pauley Pavilion in 2012-'13. The Bruins played games in Anaheim and Ontario last season while Pauley underwent construction, but had the unenviable task of hosting a majority of its contests at former USC home court ,the L.A. Sports Arena.
With a new look arena, Ben Howland also has a revamped roster. Howland inked an impressive signing class that should return UCLA to Pac-12 title contention. Versatile Shabazz Muhammad and big man Tony Parker join a cast that includes guard Tyler Lamb and the steadily improved Wear twins.
UA boasts its own retooled roster. Sean Miller's ballyhooed recruiting class includes center Kaleb Tarczewski and forward Brandon Ashley, though arguably the most critical addition was Xavier transfer Mark Lyons. The addition of Lyons adds another element to the reinvigorated Wildcat-Bruin rivalry.
UCLA and UA teams of the past featured top flight college point guards like Damon Stoudamire, Mike Bibby, Jason Terry and Jason Gardner as well as Pooh Richardson, Tyus Edney and Cameron Dollar in years past.