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UCLA Basketball: SMU Game Thread -- March Madness is Here!

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The No. 11 UCLA Bruins opens up March Madness against No. 6 SMU. Whether it was a gift from the NCAA or not, we're here and have a good shot at taking this game. Kevon Looney was fitted for the "Westbrook Mask" and should be good to go, but SMU has a strong interior presence, so this game may be for the Bruin guards, especially peaking NP4, to win.

Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

The No. 11 seed UCLA Bruins (20-13) meet the No. 6 SMU Mustangs (27-6) in the second round (play-in games called the first round or first four) of the NCAA Tournament South Regional at the KFC Yum! in Louisville, Kentucky. Tip-off is set for 12:10 PM PT. You can catch the game on TruTV (NCAA.com & their app are streaming it). Verne Lundquist (play-by-play), Jim Spanarkel (analyst), Allie LaForce (reporter) will call it. You can also listen on Tunein Radio or 570 AM. Follow along with CBS Gametracker (this is inferior to UCLA's live stats, so check this link to see if it is up).

We've got multiple BN previews to set the game up for you: Stats, SMU Players and SMU Season Performance. Read the official guide at uclabruins.com (from which you can click to their exhaustive stats and tidbits).

Vegas has SMU as the 3 point favorite (Arizona was - 11.5).

Steve Alford said Arizona is the best comparison to SMU in terms of games the Bruins have played. I hope that's true in that the Bruins hung around with a team superior to the Mustangs.

The key to this game is for Looney, Parker and Welsh to neutralize SMU's strong interior presence and stay out of foul trouble for once, keep speedy but diminutive point guard Nic Moore under control and finally, the Bruin guard trio of Powell, Hamilton and Hamilton need to knock down open shots.

Enjoy the game thread with your fellow BNers and Bruins.