The UCLA Bruins (30-4) are the No. 3 seed in the South Region, and will take on the No. 6 seed Cincinnati Bearcats (30-5). The game will be played at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento at 9:40 p.m. E.T. on Sunday.
Preview: UCLA took care of business against Kent State on Friday with a comfortable 97-80 victory in the first round. The Bruins are led by point guard Lonzo Ball and forward TJ Leaf, who averages 16.4 points per game.
Cincinnati defeated Kansas State 75-61 on Friday in a contest that was never really close. The Bearcats are led by Jacob Evans who averages 13.5 points per game.
Date: Sunday, March 19
Time: 9:40 p.m. E.T.
TV Channel: TBS
Location: Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, CA
Announcers: Spero Dedes, Steve Smith, Len Elmore and Ros Gold-Onwude
Opening Betting Line: UCLA -3, via OddsShark
According to College Basketball Reference, UCLA and Cincinnati have met three times—with two of those matchups resulting in Cincinnati victories. The most recent contest took place in 20o2 in the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament, when UCLA won in a high-scoring affair—105-101.
UCLA has appeared in the tournament 47 times, and the Bruins have advanced to 18 Final Fours. They have a tournament record of 103-40, and have won 11 national championships.
Cincinnati has appeared in the tournament 30 times, and the Bearcats have advanced to six Final Fours. They have a tournament record of 44-29, and have won two national championships.
Prediction: Call me crazy, but I’m taking the Bearcats in an upset. This game will be about great offense versus great defense, and I’m taking the stifling Cincinnati defense. The Bearcats are top ten in the nation in defensive field goal percentage and they don’t turn the ball over. Cincinnati by two.