UCLA vs. Kent State prediction and game preview, as the No. 3 Bruins and No. 14 Golden Flashes face off in the NCAA Tournament.
It’s hard to beat star power, and the Bruins are certainly packing a lot of that with Lonzo Ball. After posting a 29-4 record this past season, UCLA was given the No. 3 seed in the South region of the bracket.
The Bruins’ first opponent will be Kent State, who was handed the No. 14 seed after the Golden Flashes established a 22-13 record.
Below is a complete game preview and prediction for UCLA vs. Kent State.
UCLA vs. Kent State Game Preview
Date: March 17, 2017
Venue: Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, Calif.
UCLA has firepower throughout its lineup. Lonzo Ball, T.J. Leaf, Isaac Hamilton, Bryce Alford and Aaron Holiday helped the Bruins lead the nation with 91.3 points per game as they punished opponents with a fast-paced attack. They’re deep and talented and are going to be a tough out.
Leaf is dealing with a sprained ankle, and UCLA scored nearly 15 points below its season average in the regular-season finale. The Bruins are going to have to adjust if Leaf isn’t 100 percent as the NCAA Tournament gets underway.
UCLA Bruins In-Depth Analysis
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Kent State Strengths
Jimmy Hall is a beast down low. He is averaging 18.9 points and shooting 52.1 percent after recording his 22nd double-double of the season in the Golden Flashes’ win over top-seeded Akron in the MAC title game. Hall and Jaylin Walker, who went off for 30 points in the championship game, provide a solid one-two punch that could be dangerous down the stretch of a close game.
Kent State Weaknesses
Kent State won’t get any compliments for its 3-point shooting. It’s hitting only 31.8 percent from behind the arc this season, a mark that ranked 10th in the 12-team MAC. Walker likes to launch – his 251 3-point attempts tied for 25th in the nation – but he made only 33.1 percent from long range.
Kent State Golden Flashes In-Depth Analysis
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UCLA vs. Kent State By The Numbers
Scoring Margin: 16.3 (5th nationally)
Rebounding Margin: 4.3 (53)
Turnover Margin: 0.7 (133)
3-Point FG Percentage: 41.5% (3)
Kent State Statistics
Scoring Margin: 4.6 (100)
Rebounding Margin: 6 (24)
Turnover Margin: 1.1 (110)
3-Point FG Percentage: 31.8% (315)
UCLA vs. Kent State Prediction
Lonzo Ball. No more, no less needs to be said. The star true freshman for the Bruins will do what he’s been doing all season and will lead his team to yet another win. Ball will go for 25-plus from the floor, and UCLA will move on and keep dancing with a huge win over Kent State.
UCLA vs. Kent State Score Prediction: UCLA 93, Kent State 70