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UCLA Basketball: 5 Games You Must Watch In 2014-15

UCLA Basketball: 5 Games You Must Watch In 2014-15

UCLA Basketball Schedule 2014-15 Games To Watch
Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

UCLA lost some major pieces from its Sweet 16 team, but the return of scorer Norman Powell will be aided by the availability of UTEP transfer Isaac Hamilton. There's also the coach's son, Bryce Alford, and a top incoming recruiting class loaded with big men. UCLA may not be anyone's title favorite right now, but there's plenty of upside with their roster. Here are five games great games to check out with the on-the-rise Bruins.

5. Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament

UCLA Basketball Schedule Battle 4 Atlantis 2014-2015 Games To Watch
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

5. Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament

UCLA Basketball Schedule Battle 4 Atlantis 2014-2015 Games To Watch
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Battle 4 Atlantis, an early season tournament in the Bahamas, will be must-watch for any college basketball fan in 2014. UCLA will be joined by some of basketball's greatest programs in North Carolina and Georgetown, along with two of last season's Final Four participants in Florida and Wisconsin. Butler, Oklahoma and UAB round out the rest of the field, which will give the Bruins a couple potential chances to play top-25 caliber talent.

4. Oregon at UCLA

UCLA vs Oregon Basketball 2014-2015 Games To Watch
Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

4. Oregon at UCLA

UCLA vs Oregon Basketball 2014-2015 Games To Watch
Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

Oregon will now be without three players — two are suspended indefinitely and another transferred — following a rape investigation, but the Ducks still figure to be a Pac-12 contender in 2014 with leading scorer Joseph Young returning and talented JUCO transfers and a highly-touted recruit in Jaquan Lyle coming aboard. These teams split their regular season games, but the Ducks will be looking to avenge UCLA's blowout win in the Pac-12 tourney.

3. Gonzaga at UCLA

UCLA vs Gonzaga Basketball 2014 Game To Watch
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

3. Gonzaga at UCLA

UCLA vs Gonzaga Basketball 2014 Game To Watch
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

UCLA and Gonzaga don't have a long history, but the bad taste from the Bulldogs' loss to the Bruins in the 2006 Sweet 16 — the game where Adam Morrison cried — still lingers. Now, these programs have agreed to a home-and-home series, which brings the Zags to Pauley Pavilion this season for a good non-conference battle. Gonzaga will be led by a great backcourt, 7-foot-1 big man Przemek Karnowski and talented Kentucky transfer Kyle Wiltjer.

2. UCLA at Arizona

UCLA vs Arizona Basketball 2014-2015 Game To Watch
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

2. UCLA at Arizona

UCLA vs Arizona Basketball 2014-2015 Game To Watch
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Pac-12's premier match-up lost some intrigue with the departures of several stars to the NBA, but both teams have reloaded with top recruits. After a four-point loss to the Wildcats last January, the Bruins pulled off a big win over their conference rival for the Pac-12 Tournament Championship. These teams will only get to play once in the regular season, making UCLA's trip to Tucson a crucial game in their chase for a Pac-12 title.

1. UCLA vs. Kentucky (CBS Sports Classic)

UCLA vs Kentucky Basketball 2014 Game To Watch
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

1. UCLA vs. Kentucky (CBS Sports Classic)

UCLA vs Kentucky Basketball 2014 Game To Watch
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

UCLA will get a shot at the 2013-14 national runner-up Kentucky on Dec. 20 in the CBS Sports Classic, which will be played at Chicago's United Center. The event, which will also pit North Carolina vs. Ohio State, gives the Bruins a great measuring stick early in the season that could really only benefit their long-term potential. Kentucky will be a national title contender again, but a lack of chemistry could make UK vulnerable to an upset.

Michael Briggs is a College Football Writer for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter or Google Plus.