UCLA and USC have a fierce crosstown rivalry that spans a variety of different sports. The two first met in 1928 and UCLA has dominated the rivalry for the most part since legendary Bruins coach John Wooden took over the program in 1948. The two met in their first postseason matchup in the 2008 Pac-10 Conference Tournament, but even if you’re just attending a regular season matchup between the two, there is still a lot on the line.
UCLA Bruins vs Arizona Wildcats
Rival Team: Arizona Wildcats
There wasn’t much of a rivalry between the Arizona and UCLA before Lute Olson took over the Wildcats with the Bruins winning 21 of the first 23 meetings. Since Olson’s arrival, the Wildcats became regular contenders for the conference championship creating a fierce rivalry between the two schools. If you want to catch an important Pac-12 matchup, then make sure to be in attendance when the Bruins and Wildcats square off.
UCLA Bruins vs Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Rival Team: Notre Dame Fighting Irish
The rivalry between UCLA and Notre Dame began in the 1970s when the two schools would play a home-and-home series. The rivalry’s most famous matchup came during that period when the Fighting Irish ended the Bruins 88 game unbeaten streak in 1974. While the rivalry may not run as hot as it did back then, you’ll still experience a great game when attending a UCLA-Notre Dame basketball game.
UCLA Bruins Stadium Guide
Pauley Pavilion is one of the most historic arenas in college basketball having been home to 10 national championship winning teams. The venue recently underwent extensive renovations from 2011 to 2012 and is now one of the most beautiful arenas as well.
The minute you step foot into Pauley Pavilion you’ll be met with the history and aura surrounding the UCLA basketball program. Not only will you step into a historic facility, but there are also countless artifacts and pieces of memorabilia celebrating the Bruins glorious basketball past. Wooden Way is especially impressive as it is home to lots of memorabilia from legendary coach John Wooden’s run as coach. Arrive early and take it all in before the game to get the most out of your visit to Pauley Pavilion.
The history of Bruins basketball isn’t the only reason to make the trip to Pauley Pavilion. The fans and students inside the arena are just as loud and crazy as they were during the Wooden dynasty years. The student section, or the Den as they’re known, pump themselves up with their famous Frisbee Cheer before the game, and all throughout the game, you’ll hear their cheers as they propel the Bruins to victory.
After the game hit up nearby Westwood Village to grab a bite to eat or drink. Westwood Village is home to tons of great bars and eateries including Barney’s, Sepi’s Giant Submarines, and Fat Sal’s. If you’re not in the mood for a full meal, then stop by Diddy Riese and have some of their famous ice cream or cookies.
A UCLA basketball game should be on the bucket list of every college basketball fan, so plan your trip to Los Angeles today.
Make sure to stop by the John Wooden statue before the game. The statue honors arguably the greatest coach in college basketball history and is an excellent photo opportunity, so don’t miss your chance to get a picture with the Wizard of Westwood.
Take some time to explore Wooden Way when attending a UCLA basketball game. The hallway is home to many artifacts from Wooden’s days as head coach including the famous Wooden Pyramid of Success. Wooden Way is a must-see for any college basketball game, so arrive at the arena early and check it out.
All around the concourse of Paul Pavilion are pictures and banners honoring the biggest moments in Bruins history. Take a walk of the concourse and see of the Bruins incredible moments from over the years.
Hanging from the rafters of Pauley Pavilion are banners celebrating the greatest accomplishments in Bruins history. There are 11 national championship banners as well as countless others, so take them all in when attending a game at Pauley Pavilion.
Before every UCLA home game the Den performs the Frisbee Cheer. The Frisbee Cheer is a fun call-and-response cheer that pumps up the student section and gets everyone ready to cheer on the Bruins. Join in the cheer to get pumped for the game and show off your Bruins spirit.
UCLA leaves an empty seat behind the Bruins bench for legendary coach John Wooden. The seat is the exact one where Wooden would watch every Bruins basketball game following his retirement and is a touching tribute to the man who put UCLA basketball on the map.
Joe Bruin is the official UCLA mascot, and he can be seen throughout games leading cheers on the sideline and energizing the crowd. Originally Joe was a live bear, however, in the 1960s he became a costumed student. Look for Joe Bruin to pump up the crowd at the next UCLA basketball game you attend.
The UCLA band puts on incredible show at Bruins basketball games. They invigorate the crowd with fan favorites such as “Strike Up the Band for UCLA,” “Sons of Westwood,” and “The Mighty Bruins.” Enjoy the musical stylings of the Bruins pep band when attending a UCLA basketball game.
Any fan that comes into the Den (student seating area) with a red shirt initiates the "take off that red shirt" chant. The chant then does not stop until the shirt is removed and everyone applauds. The chant originated to keep USC fans out of the student section, so if you’re sitting there do your due diligence to keep it Trojan free.
During free throws, everyone in the Den points their finger at the basket. If the basket is made, then they yell, “swoosh” and clap their hands. Celebrate free throws along with the Den by performing this tradition.