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What the national media is saying about tonight’s game


As we slowly inch closer to tonight’s late tip, let’s see what the national media has to say about Kentucky’s chances vs. UCLA:

The Sporting News’ Mike DeCourcy: Kentucky

(3) UCLA v. (2) Kentucky

If you’re Kentucky, how do you play this? They know they can run with the Bruins. They figure they can win running with the Bruins, although the only piece of available evidence in that regard favors UCLA. But most of UCLA’s defeats have occurred when its team has been drawn into less comfortable games in which defense is a priority and the pace is measured. Southern California did it that way once, and nearly a second time. Arizona did it in the Pac-12 Tournament. We’re not talking about a slowdown. It’s unlikely anyone’s keeping UCLA in the 60s. We’re talking about just forcing the Bruins to guard. They’re better at it now than they once were, but the less they are forced to deal with that end of the court, the happier they’ll be.

The pick: Kentucky, but only if the Wildcats make UCLA work.

The SEC Network

CBS Sports’ Gary Parrish: UCLA

(2) Kentucky -1 vs. (3) UCLA

Straight-up pick: UCLA

ATS pick: UCLA

I have UCLA winning the national championship, so there’s no way to not take the Bruins here without disrespecting my bracket. And I don’t want to disrespect my bracket. So give me Lonzo Ball and the Bruins over Malik Monk and the Wildcats. But it’s worth noting that Kentucky will have a sizable fan advantage inside FedExForum. That has to be worth something. But it’s also worth noting that UCLA has already beaten Kentucky inside Rupp Arena. And that has to be worth something too.

Dick Vitale: Kentucky

ESPN’s BPI: Kentucky 55.2%

FiveThirtyEight: Kentucky 68%

Screen Shot 2017-03-24 at 12.20.06 PM

USA Today

Why Kentucky will win: As UCLA saw in December, Malik Monk and Bam Adebayo play more like grizzled veterans than freshmen, and that’s really been true in the NCAA tournament. They both had key blocked shots in the final 15 seconds of the down-to-the-wire win against Wichita State in the second round, and Adebayo had double-doubles in each of Kentucky’s first two NCAA tournament games.

Why UCLA will win: Turnovers. Or, rather, a lack of them. In their first two NCAA tournament games, the Bruins had nine turnovers. Total. That’s an insane stat, especially given the competition. Now, the Bruins have had games with a lot of turnovers – 18 in their win against Kentucky in December, in fact. But they’ve been much better taking care of the ball down the stretch, finishing with double-digit turnovers just twice in the last seven games.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

2 Comments for What the national media is saying about tonight’s game

  1. Isaac in Louisville
    5:45 pm March 24, 2017 Permalink

    Slow it down. Play good halfcourt offense because UCLA’s defense WILL break down, and when it does, the Cats HAVE to take advantage.

    Let Leaf get his and take away everybody else on defense. We don’t have somebody that can guard Leaf except for Bam, but we can’t have Bam in foul trouble, so don’t worry if he puts 30 on us.

    And PRAY that Malik finds his shot tonight.

    Cayts by 6.

  2. dballrb
    1:30 am March 25, 2017 Permalink