Tonight, UCLA meets Kentucky in the biggest game of the Sweet 16. It’s a clash of the blueblood titans in a game that will decide which team will play for a spot in the Final Four on Sunday.
Of course, we all know that the Bruins beat the Wildcats in Lexington back in December. While these teams have evolved since their last meeting, the personnel is the same. Bruins Nation looked at the personnel in our preview to the December matchup. So, you might want to check that out in advance of tonight’s game.
Instead of focusing on that, let’s look at the real question about this game. “What does UCLA have to do to win tonight’s game?” Let’s look at the three keys for UCLA.
The first one is simple: Make their three-point shots. UCLA cannot afford to have an off-night from three-point range like they did against Southern Cal in the Pac-12 Tournament. If they don’t make these shots, it will be much tougher for the Bruins to beat the Wildcats.
The second key is to stay out of foul trouble, especially early and especially Lonzo Ball. When Lonzo got into foul trouble in the first half against Southern Cal, he had to sit for quite a bit of time. UCLA needs Lonzo in the game and UCLA needs Lonzo being Lonzo. If he were to get into foul trouble, it would become a lot harder for that to happen.
The third and final key to tonight’s game is to play tough defense. There is no doubt that this team has improved on defense since they played in Rupp in December. The reason that UCLA’s defense has improved the way it has has to do with the fact that the team has been playing more zone defense. For UCLA, playing tough defense means playing zone defense as much as possible and that combined with the first two keys will help ensure a Bruin victory.
Here’s how to watch, listen and stream tonight’s game:
UCLA Bruins (#3 seed, South Region, 31-4)
Opponent: University of Kentucky Wildcats (#2 seed, South Region, 31-5)
When: Friday, March 24, 2017, 6:40 pm PT (approx.)
Where: FedExForum, Memphis, TN
TV: CBS with Jim Nantz, Grant Hill, Bill Raftery and Tracy Wolfson
- 570 AM in Los Angeles with Josh Lewin and Tracy Murray
- Sirius Channel 136/XM Channel 201 (National feed)
- And, of course, the Bruins Nation Game Thread!
Live Stats: NCAA GameCenter