NCAA Tournament First Round: (11) UCLA (18-9) vs (6) BYU (20-6) prediction and college basketball game preview.
UCLA vs BYU Broadcast
Date: Saturday, March 20
Game Time: 9:40 pm ET
Venue: Hinkle Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN
UCLA vs BYU Game Preview
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Why UCLA Will Win
Forget any preconceived notions you might have about UCLA – it just hard-nosed and gut-checked – and whatever any other cliché buzzwords you’d like to use – it’s way out of the First Four against Michigan State.
The Bruins weren’t working, they were struggling to get the offense consistently going, and they were down late, but this is a tough, defensive-minded team that came up with stop after stop to pull it off in an 86-80 overtime win.
Even though they struggled late in the year with four straight losses, they still shot well – with this win over the Spartans, they’ve now hit 50% from the field in four of they last six and in five of their last eight games.
BYU doesn’t force turnovers, it comes up with a ton of fouls, and …
Why BYU Will Win
Outside of a loss to Pepperdine, it lost to one other team over the last 19 games – Gonzaga. It was three times, but there’s no shame there.
There’s size up front for the Cougars that will be a problem. They don’t do enough to block shots with their seven-footers, but they get a whole lot of rebounds.
This isn’t a big UCLA team, and now it might be without Johnny Juzang after he appeared to injure his ankle against Michigan State.
BYU is nasty defensively, it gets after three point shooters, and it’s not going to allow the Bruins to get the 13 offensive rebounds that helped push them past the Spartans.
What’s Going To Happen
50%. Can UCLA get there again?
The offense has not hit the mark eight times on the year and shot 49% or better nine times going 7-2 in those games.
BYU is 0-4 on the season when allowing teams to make 49% or more of their shots, and it’s 2-6 when allowing teams to make 42% or more.
It’s 18-0 when teams can’t get to 42%, and UCLA has been below the mark in any of its last nine games. It’s be a war, but the Bruins keep on pushing through.
UCLA vs BYU Prediction, Line
UCLA 68, BYU 65
Bet on college basketball with BetMGM
Line: BYU -4.5, o/u: 139
ATS Confidence out of 5: 2
Must See Rating: 3.5
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