Will UCLA upset Kentucky again? March Madness Predictions 3/24/17

Apr 09, 2017, 02:11
Will UCLA upset Kentucky again? March Madness Predictions 3/24/17

De'Aaron Fox won the personal point guard battle against Lonzo Ball in convincing fashion, and by doing so led No. 2 seed Kentucky to the Elite Eight with an 86-75 win over No. 3 seed UCLA on Friday night at the FedEx Forum in Memphis. Now the NCAA's winningest program will play another of basketball's titans Sunday in top-seeded North Carolina, a 92-80 victor over Butler earlier Friday, with a trip to yet another Final Four on the line. We just want to win. "It wasn't just what he did, but he was more physical than we had expected", Kentucky head coach John Calipari said.

BOOS OR CHEERS: Calipari has a winning history at the FedExForum from his tenure coaching the Memphis Tigers. Calipari, who has led Kentucky to the Sweet Sixteen in six of his eight seasons at Kentucky, improved to a flawless 6-0 in regional semifinal games.

Wildcats won despite Bam being a non-factor with the ball. Every team feels like it has a chance to get to the Final Four after getting to the regional semifinals.

Fox scored Kentucky's first eight points and led all scorers with 15 in the first half.

Classmate TJ Leaf kept UCLA close, scoring 13 of his 17 points in the first half. This time, Kentucky limited the Bruins' scoring explosions to a wild stretch at the beginning of the second half.

The Kentucky Wildcats (31-5) are coming from a 65-62 win over the Wichita State Shockers in which Malik Monk scored 14 points in 3-for-10 shooting from the field and 6-for-6 from the free throw line. Ball finished with 10 points and eight assists in the loss as he was overshadowed by Kentucky's De'Aaron Fox (39 points). That led to questions all week about how Kentucky would try to slow down the high-powered, multi-weapon UCLA Bruins in the Sweet 16.

And what about senior Dominique Hawkins? Kentucky committed just six turnovers, of which the Bruins could only convert into two points.

The Wildcats offset UCLA's size in the post with timely shooting, especially from behind the arc.

In New York, Chris Chiozza went end to end and made a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give fourth-seeded Florida a victory against No. 8 Wisconsin in the first overtime game of this tournament.

Fox finished the game with 39 points, three rebounds, four assists, two steals and just one turnover. Adebayo did not score until a dunk with 3:15 remaining. The 75 points the Bruins scored Friday were the second-fewest they have scored this season. The SEC player of the year had only seven points in the first half, but he hit four of his first five shots, including a pair of three-pointers, within the first five minutes of the second.

"I remember he played really well", said Kentucky freshman forward Wenyen Gabriel, who drew the starting assignment opposite Leaf in the two teams' first matchup, a 97-92 UCLA win.

The Bruins have some distractions with LaVar Ball and Steve Alford potentially taking the IN job, but it doesn't look to be slowing them down.

"How good are they" They have gotten better.

LeVar Ball also said he's seeking a $1 billion shoe contract for his family.

Asked again about Indiana's coaching opening, Alford insisted he is staying at UCLA and loves Los Angeles. Despite making it to the Sweet 16, UCLA (31-5) surely is disappointed it wasn't able to go deeper into the tournament given the talent on its roster.

Ike Anigbogu could also declare for the draft, if so inclined, but we did not get to see a lot of him this last season.