One thing that cannot be denied about this 2018-2019 UCLA Bruins basketball team so far this season is that the Bruins are undefeated against the UC Berkeley Golden Bears. The Bruins will look to make it a clean sweep of the Bay Area schools tonight and follow up their January 3rd 92-70 shellacking of the Cardinal with another win as they visit Maples Pavilion.
The Cardinal (13-11, 6-6 Pac-12) are coming off a big comeback victory over Southern Cal Wednesday night and will look to finish as a top four team in the Pac-12. Stanford comes into this game having won four of their last five games and are tied with the Bruins for 6th place in the Pac-12.
The Stanford Cardinal had five players score in double figures in Wednesday’s victory over Southern California, but were once again without their second leading scorer, sophomore point guard Daejon Davis. Davis missed his second game due to a head injury which occurred against Oregon State. Davis is expected to play tonight and it will be his first game against the Bruins this year after he was also out for last month’s game in Westwood.
UCLA will have to find a way to stop Stanford’s sophomore forward KZ Okpala. The 2017 graduate of Esperanza High School in Anaheim was named one of the finalist for the Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award. Okpala is averaging 17.7 points per game and dropped 22 on the Bruins back in January.
As crazy as it sounds, this game definitely has huge implications in the Pac-12 standings. A win by either team furthers their respective push to earn a top-four seed in the Pac-12 Tournament which carries with it a first-round bye.