The second-seeded Gonzaga Bulldogs are looking to avenge a Sweet Sixteen loss to the Bruins from nine years ago while the 11th-seeded UCLA Bruins are hoping for a little revenge as well against the only team to defeat them on their home court this season.
An In-Depth Look At The UCLA Bruins vs Gonzaga Bulldogs Sweet Sixteen Betting Line & Final Score Prediction
Matchup: (11) UCLA Bruins vs (2) Gonzaga Bulldogs
Date: Mar. 27, 2015
Start Time: 7:15 p.m. ET
Location: Houston, Texas
Stadium: NRG Stadium
TV Info: CBS
Radio: UCLA Vs Gonzaga
Point Spread: Bulldogs -8.5
Game Total: 143.5
UCLA Will Cover the 8.5-point Spread If
The Bruins defense can slow down the Zags and make their free throws.
When these two teams met last December, UCLA couldn’t do anything to stop Gonzaga. The Bruins lost 74 to 87. UCLA was very good from the three-point line in that game. The Bruins shot 47.4% from behind the arc. They hit 9 out of 19 shots. Bryce Alford was 5 out of 10 from the three-point line.
But UCLA allows Gonzaga to shoot 58.5% from the field and 47.4% from the three-point line. The Zags also made 16 out of 19 free throws for 84.2%. If UCLA is going to cover the spread in the rematch on Friday night, they’ll have to hold Gonzaga to around 45% shooting from the field and less than 40% shooting from the three-point line. They will also have to be much better at the stripe. UCLA was good on only 15 out of 22 free throws, that’s around 68%, in the first contest between these two.
— UCLA Basketball (@UCLAMBB) March 26, 2015
UCLA’s Sweet Sixteen Projected Starting lineup
- G Bryce Alford, 6-3, So., 15.1 ppg, 5.0 apg
- G Norman Powell, 6-4, Sr., 16.4 ppg, 4.7 rpg
- G Isaac Hamilton, 6-4, So., 10.7 ppg, 3.1 apg
- F Kevon Looney, 6-9, Fr., 11.8 ppg, 9.2 rpg
- F Tony Parker, 6-9, Jr., 11.8 ppg, 6.6 rpg
- Coach: Steve Alford (24th season)
Gonzaga’s Will Cover the 8.5-point Spread If
Gonzaga can keep the game flowing at a fast pace.
Gonzaga shouldn’t expect to face the same exact team in UCLA on Friday that they dominated in December. The biggest difference is that in two out of the past three games, UCLA has been more of a half court team than one that likes to get out in transition.
UCLA lost 64 to 70 to Arizona in the Pac-12 Tournament. They beat SMU 60 to 59 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. UCLA did run with UAB in the Bruins 92 to 75 victory, but Coach Steve Alford knew that his Bruins were better in transition than UAB was.
That’s not the case versus the Zags. Alford knows that the best way to beat Gonzaga is to try and slow it down against them. It almost worked against Arizona, a team that can run and gun, and it should almost work versus Gonzaga. The Zags are actually better at pushing the pace than Arizona is. Guard Kevin Pangos and forward Kyle Wiltjer are going to have to remember that the best way to beat UCLA is to run and gun. Don’t let the Bruins set up Bryce Alford for three-pointers off of screens by getting UCLA into a fast-paced game. If Gonzaga does that, they’ll cover the spread.
Kyle Wiltjer has become one of the best scorers in the nation since heading west to Gonzaga. pic.twitter.com/m4p8DizzQV
— ESPN College BBall (@ESPNCBB) March 24, 2015
Gonzaga Sweet Sixteen Projected Starting lineup
- G Kevin Pangos, 6-2, Sr., 11.6 ppg, 5.0 apg
- G Gary Bell Jr., 6-1, Sr., 8.1 ppg, 2.5 rpg
- F Byron Wesley, 6-4, Sr., 10.6 ppg, 5.0 rpg
- F Kyle Wiltjer, 6-10, Jr., 16.6 ppg, 5.8 rp
- C Przemek Karnowski, 7-1, Jr., 10.9 ppg, 5.8 rpg
- Coach: Mark Few (16th season)