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UCLA Basketball: Arizona State Game Thread -- Crucial Road Game

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So far so good for the Bruins in the last stretch of the season; however, we always knew tonight's game was the big challenge (totally ignoring the Arizona game). Vegas has ASU as the 2.5 favorite. Can the Bruins use their inside advantage to beat the Sun Devils or will the "Curtain of Distraction" be the difference-maker in a close game?

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

The UCLA Bruins (16-10, 8-5) are in Tempe tonight to face the ASU Sun Devils (13-12, 5-7). Tip-off is set for 6:05 PM PT. You can catch the game on ESPN2. Dave Pasch and Bill Walton will call the game (let's hope this is a night for him to express Welsh and Powell love, but if it goes badly, then go ahead and call out Bryce). You can also listen on Tunein Radio or 570 AM. Follow along with live stats here (double-check this -- it's a road game).

Read the BN preview and the official guide at uclabruins.com(from which you can click to their exhaustive stats and tidbits).

Check out ASU's "Curtain of Distraction."

Vegas has ASU as the 2.5 point favorite. I'm surprised. Is it the Curtain of Distraction?

Things seem to be falling into place for the Bruins' hopes to finish in sole possession of third place and get an at-large NCAA bid. Tonight's game is perhaps the most important bullet point in Mission 3.0 (finish the season 6-1 after the Berkeley game). It's a winnable road game. After a throwaway road game against Arizona, UCLA finishes up with three games in Pauley.

Alford said the Sun Devils are similar to Oregon except they have a legit center. While its true they both are very athletic and lack height, I don't think ASU has anywhere near the perimeter shooters that Oregon has, and their transition game is limited. They do attempt to penetrate off the dribble. Oregon fouled the center, Jacobsen, out. I think this is a straight-up game to use our strengths: go into Tony and Kevon and watch ASU foul, and let's see if Norman can do the dribble penetration -- the Sun Devils have two players who can stay with Norman: McKissic and Goodman.

Enjoy the game thread with your fellow BNers and Bruins.