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Planting more fertile seeds before NCAA tournament is goal for UCLA, USC

Here’s some friendly advice for those grumbling about UCLA’s NCAA tournament projections: Hold on a minute.

Alone atop the Pac-12 Conference but predicted as a middling No. 8 seed by ESPN’s Joe Lunardi and CBS Sports’ Jerry Palm, the two most prominent analysts who forecast NCAA tournament brackets, the Bruins could considerably boost their standing thanks to a schedule that closes with a flurry of tough matchups.

After playing at Colorado on Saturday, UCLA (17-5 overall, 13-3 Pac-12) will face Oregon on Wednesday in another road game before closing the regular season against No. 19 USC at Pauley Pavilion on March 6.