UCLA coach Ben Howland said Tuesday that in his mind, the only way for UCLA to make the NCAA tournament at this point would be to secure an automatic bid by winning the Pac-12 tournament in March.
UCLA (7-7, 0-2 Pac-12) has an RPI of 146 and has only six victories against Division I teams. The Bruins have not defeated a team from a BCS conference.
"What we’re going to have to do to make the [NCAA] tournament is win the Pac-12 tournament," Howland said. "That’s very clear."
Should the Bruins win the rest of their games and win the Pac-12 regular-season conference title they would finish at 24-7, yet Howland said he doesn't think that would be enough to get the Bruins in the tournament.
"Not with our RPI right now," Howland said.
Point guard Lazeric Jones agreed with his coach, saying the Bruins' resume, which includes losses to Loyola Marymount and Middle Tennessee, is not going to impress the selection committee.
"After you lose all the games that we lost and you haven’t got those big wins that you need, we know that we have to win the Pac-12," he said. "It starts now. We have to start to step up."