TUCSON -- UCLA fans might get a good indication for what to expect in next weekend's Pacific 10 Conference tournament by how the Bruins play tonight against Arizona. The Bruins were thoroughly dominated by Arizona when the teams played in early January. But since then, UCLA has improved defensively -- primarily by switching to a 2-3 zone. We lay out some keys to tonight's game at the McKale Center:
UCLA likely wins if ...
... freshman Reeves Nelson, coming off left-eye surgery, plays the way he is capable of. Nelson participated in full-contact practice Wednesday but might be rusty after sitting out both games last weekend. He can rebound and is an offensive force if (and it's a BIG if) the guards can get him the ball. Nelson also has to keep Arizona's Derrick Williams from having a monster game inside.
... it is effective on offense. Arizona ranks last in the conference with more than 71 points given up per game, meaning UCLA has to secure high-percentage attempts and capitalize on fastbreak opportunities.
UCLA likely loses if ...
... Arizona guard Nic Wise does what Oregon's Tajuan Porter did to the Bruins last weekend. Porter scored a game-high 29 points to spoil UCLA's Senior Day at Pauley Pavilion -- and Wise will look to make the most of his final weekend in front of the 'Zona Zoo.
... Michael Roll does not get any support. Either Nelson, Malcolm Lee, Tyler Honeycutt or Nikola Dragovichave to follow Roll's lead offensively. If Roll is hitting from outside -- as he was last weekend -- someone will have to supplement that.
Tip-off is scheduled for 7:36 p.m. and will be televised on Fox Sports Net.