UCLA Basketball Coach Floats March Madness Conspiracy Theory, Claims Leaving For Big Ten Is To Blame

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UCLA basketball coach Mick Cronin thinks the NCAA is out to get his program.

The Bruins will leave to join the Big Ten in 2024, and Cronin believes the imminent split from the PAC-12 is why his team’s initial March Madness ranking from the Division I men’s basketball committee was so disappointing.

Despite being 23-4 and the fourth-ranked team in America, the Bruins were only eighth in the initial tournament rankings.

“If you ask my one-word answer on that ranking — comical. I’m going to try not to laugh. When we left the Pac-12, it cost a lot of people millions of dollars and there was going to be fallout, and I think it’s a direct result. I had nothing to do with us leaving the league, but you deal with the fallout being a lame duck,” Cronin said Saturday after beating California, according to the AP.

Mick Cronin suggests the NCAA is out to get UCLA. The reason he gave was because UCLA is leaving for the Big Ten in 2024. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)

UCLA coach Mick Cronin makes a bold claim.

This is the kind of drama college sports fans crave. This is the kind of petty shots being fired we want injected into our veins.

Did Cronin really offer any proof? Not a bit, other than to say it’s because the Bruins are leaving for the Big Ten in a little more than a year.

Why would that impact UCLA’s March Madness seeding? No idea. Honestly, it doesn’t make sense at all, but who cares.

Mick Cronin floats March Madness conspiracy theory. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)

This is like the legendary speech from “Animal House” about the Germans bombing Pearl Harbor. When a man is on a roll, you just have to let him cook.

The good news for UCLA is that as long as you’re a top three seed, it ultimately doesn’t matter. You control your own fate no matter what seed you are, but being in the top three gets you a real nice path. So, there’s no need to worry about anything other than yourself. Is another trip to the Final Four a possibility? Given how great UCLA has looked this season, you definitely can’t rule it out.

Written by David Hookstead

David Hookstead is a reporter for OutKick covering a variety of topics with a focus on football and culture.

He also hosts of the podcast American Joyride that is accessible on Outkick where he interviews American heroes and outlines their unique stories. Before joining OutKick, Hookstead worked for the Daily Caller for seven years covering similar topics.

Hookstead is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin.

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