John Wooden reportedly once told a young UCLA film student: “Be quick, Jim, but don’t hurry.” Jim didn’t listen.

To quote Jim Morrison, the former UCLA film student, booze guzzler, lizard king and early Gail Goodrich fan: “the time to hesitate is through. No time to wallow in the mire.”

It’s time for the UCLA, and the West, to light someone’s fire in the NCAA Tournament.

The hardest thing to hear last week, maybe all year, was ESPN carnival barker Bill Walton calling the Pac 12 “Conference of Champions.”

That is all fine and good, and true, but Pac 12 revenue sports have come up drier than the Mojave for more than a decade.

The last title in football was USC’s 2004 championship, later vacated by the lords of the BCS.

The last title in basketball is now the 20-year anniversary of Arizona’s win over Kentucky in Indianapolis.

Let’s put that in context.

Arizona won the 1997 title on March 31.

Almost two months later, May 22, 1997, a baby was born in Vantaa, Finland who would later matriculate into Arizona’s starting lineup:

That baby was current freshman star Lauri Markkanen.

You realize how much pickled herring has been consumed in the interim?

So, anyway, the NCAA bracket is out and it’s time for the West to win.

No more excuses.

UCLA’s Lonzo Ball has a sore left thumb?

Too bad. You think a bum thumb would bother someone like Steph Curry?

Oregon has lost senior Chris Boucher to a season-ending knee injury.

That’s unfortunate, but no time to cry a Willamette River.

Truth is, the rest of the country expects us to fail. The NCAA committee couldn’t wait to sack our seeds to make room for Duke, Kentucky and Louisville on the true-blue No. 2 line.

The committee gave Gonzaga a No.1 but probably had to hold back the giggles, knowing the Zags’ rag-tag history of failure in the tournament. The rest of this article is available to subscribers only – to become a subscriber click here.