Cincinnati vs. UCLA Pick
The NCAA Tournament weekend closes out tonight at 9:40PM ET when No. 3 UCLA faces No. 6 Cincinnati. Who will come out with the win and cover?
According to oddsmakers at BetDSI, UCLA is the slight favorite in this game, as the Bruins are getting odds of -4 points against the Bearcats. The over/under total for the game is listed at 153.5 points. This game will take part in the South Region and air on TBS from Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California.
UCLA had a 97-80 win over Kent State on Friday, but that wasn’t enough to cover the 18.5-point spread. The Bruins are now 30-5 overall and 16-18 against the spread for the season. UCLA averages 90.6 points per game this season, making it one of the toughest offenses to deal with. Defensively, the Bruins allow 75.5 points per game. In Friday’s win, UCLA shot 62.7 percent from the field and was 7-of-14 from 3-point land. The Bruins did get a scare when Lonzo Ball took a hard fall, but he seemed to be okay and will play today. Ball had 15 points in the win while T.J. Leaf added 23 points with six rebounds.
Cincinnati is coming off a 75-61 win over Kansas State on Friday to reach this game. The Bearcats are now 30-5 overall as well while putting up a 17-14-1 record against the spread. Cincy has one of the top defenses in the nation, allowing just 60.8 points per game this season. The offense averages 74.5 per game, but they average only 60.7 per game on offense when away from home. Friday’s win saw the Bearcats hold the Wildcats to just 38 percent shooting. Troy Caupain led Cincinnati with 23 points and seven rebounds while Kyle Washington added 16 points with four rebounds.
This is a battle of offense vs. defense, but in the NCAA Tournament, I go with offense. The Bruins have too much scoring and tempo for Cincinnati to shut them down. While the Bearcats will get a slight boost on offense against the UCLA defense, I don’t think it will be enough to keep pace. UCLA has the better talent and should be able to take care of business in their home state tonight.
MARCH MADNESS PREDICTION: UCLA -4