UCLA vs Akron Prediction, Game Preview: NCAA Tournament First Round

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

UCLA vs Akron Prediction, Game Preview: NCAA Tournament First Round

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UCLA vs Akron Prediction, Game Preview: NCAA Tournament First Round

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UCLA vs Akron: NCAA Tournament First Round prediction and college basketball game preview.


UCLA vs Akron Game Preview, NCAA Tournament First Round How To Watch

Date: Thursday, March 17
Game Time: 9:50 pm
Venue: Moda Center, Portland, OR
How To Watch: TBS
Records: UCLA (4 seed, 25-7)
Akron (13 seed, 24-9)
Region: East

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Why Akron Will Win

Welcome to the proverbial young-team-that-doesn’t-know-it’s-not-supposed-to-be-here.

Akron had a nice year, but it kicked it all in over the back half of February with eight straight wins including a dominant 75-55 win over Kent State for the MAC Tournament championship.

There’s not a lot of size, and underclassmen play a huge role, but it’s shooting well, it’s great at getting to the free throw line, and it led the MAC in scoring D.

It’s possible to score on the Zips, but they’re able to slow things down a wee bit to keep most games and teams in the 60s.

UCLA isn’t going to bomb away from the outside and will bog down at times, but …

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Why UCLA Will Win

The Bruins should be able to burst they’re way out of this.

There will be times when Akron controls the tempo and the game, but it won’t generate any key turnovers for points against the UCLA backcourt.

There will be a point when UCLA goes UCLA and goes on a scoring run by moving the ball around and getting on the move. And then everything turns UCLA’s way – it plays defense, too.

Nothing against the MAC – okay, a little bit against the MAC – but Akron’s D didn’t have to go against Arizona, USC, and the rest of the Pac-12.

And, yeah …

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UCLA vs Akron: What’s Going To Happen

UCLA plays defense, too.

It led the Pac-12 in scoring defense, holding teams to 65 points per game. It won’t have any problems if and when Akron wants to slow things down a bit.

The dangerous part of this will be if it stays close late. UCLA is better on the line than Akron, but Akron is better at getting there. This isn’t a team you want to have any confidence late.

It won’t come to that. UCLA will be in a fight for a half before pulling away with a big run with about ten minutes to go.

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UCLA vs Akron: NCAA Tournament First Round Prediction, Lines

UCLA 74, Akron 58
Line: UCLA -13.5, o/u: 128
ATS Confidence out of 5: 2
CFN Experts Pick: UCLA vs Akron
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UCLA vs Akron Must See Rating: 3

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