UCLA fires Ben Howland

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Five years ago Ben Howland led UCLA to its third consecutive Final Four, including a national title game appearance in 2006. It seemed like UCLA had found the proper successor to Steve Lavin in Ben Howland. Tonight Ben Howland is no longer employed in Westwood.

Yahoo! Sports broke the story a few hours ago. The official announcement from UCLA on the dismissal of Ben Howland should happen during the next couple of days. Again this will be a case of the press release being out-dated and useless by the time it’s sent out. Then again, people knew Ben Howland was on the hot seat for some time.

Too many good players transferred. Too many subpar seasons. As AWFUL as UCLA looked in their opening round loss to the Gophers, they are college hoops blue blood, literally and figuratively. The UCLA fight song is still the Mozart Symphony #40 of college basketball. Expectations are always sky high in Los Angeles.

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10 Non-NCAA Tournament teams ready to make a splash next season

HOT UCLA CHEERLEADERS

College basketball fans whose team didn’t make the NCAA Tournament are probably already looking ahead to the 2012-2013 season.  Typical tourney teams like UCLA, Arizona, Butler, Villanova, and Maryland should have bounce back seasons next year and vie for a spot in the Big Dance.  Here are ten non-tourney programs to watch out for next season.

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UCLA Basketball: a leaderless program in chaos, says SI report

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The debate about whether or not UCLA Bruins head coach Ben Howland is on the hot seat is about to end. Now that a new Sports Illustrated study has been released, which profiles physical fighting between players, rampant alcohol and drug abuse, and most importantly, Howland’s aloof, hands-off approach, he may want to start enhancing his resume.

According to the AP, the past four years of UCLA players and coaches say that Howland:

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