Rio Hondo College Newspaper

El Paisano

UCLA heads into March Madness Riding Lonzo Ball’s Success

Jonathan Manjarrez, Staff Writer

Lonzo Ball silencing the crowd against Kentucky earlier in the season

The second official week of March for many people marks the time when daylight savings makes it necessary that everyone double checks all their clocks, but to college basketball fans it marks the release of NCAA Tournament brackets better known as March Madness. The most enthusiastic fans after seeing the release of the college basketball playoff brackets were UCLA fans who have been riding the success of their freshman phenomena, Lonzo Ball.

Lonzo Ball was a highly touted basketball recruit when he was playing high school basketball for Chino Hills in California. Ball commanded more attention in his senior season when he was accompanied by his two brothers, Lamelo and LeAngelo, on the basketball court. By the start of his senior season, Lonzo would already be committed to play basketball for UCLA along with his two brothers. In his final season at Chino Hills, Ball led his team to a California state championship and a national championship. Lonzo then carried his success to UCLA where he won Pac-12 Freshman of the year while leading UCLA to a 29-4 record and a berth in the NCAA Tournament.

The expectations for Ball placed by UCLA fans are sky high who still reminisce about the days of championships with John Wooden and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and many fans are longing to reign in that success once again. UCLA fans are very hopeful that Ball can bring a championship back to Pauley Pavillion despite having a tough trek to the Final Four. The Bruins are set to start the tournament against Kent State on March 17 which UCLA is 17-point favorite to win. The next couple of games for UCLA on their way to the Final Four are against some of the biggest programs in college basketball which includes Kentucky and North Carolina. The pressure for Ball is mounting and many fans are awaiting their championship that is long overdue.

“I told Lonzo I’ll meet up with him in Arizona for Final Four… I’m not going to anything until the Final Four. I’ll be with my younger son handling business for this state title we’re about to get”. Lavar Ball, Lonzo’s father, told reporters regarding NCAA tournament.

“Championship. We don’t play to lose”. Ball told reporters when being asked about what the final outcome of the tournament he would be satisfied with.

The world is awaiting to see what Ball does the NCAA tournament and if he can finally bring UCLA back to the glory days they are accustomed to before he heads off to the NBA.

 

 

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Rio Hondo College Newspaper
UCLA heads into March Madness Riding Lonzo Ball’s Success