The No. 3 seeded UCLA Bruins meet the No. 2 seeded Kentucky Wildcats in a South region semifinal from the FedEx Forum, in Memphis, Tennessee. The current line on top sportsbooks has UCLA favored by 1 point with the over/under point total on 168.
Entering this game, UCLA in its past 10 games played is 9-1 straight up but just 4-6 ATS. Kentucky in its past 10 games played is 10-0 SU and 4-5-1 ATS.
Kentucky opened its tournament with a 9-point win over Northern Kentucky and then held off Wichita State thanks to two late blocked shots to win 65-62.
UCLA to open its tournament play beat Kent State during the first round by 17 points, while in its second round the Bruins beat Cincinnati by 12 points.
Kentucky lost its rebounding battle against Wichita State by 6 rebounds, but sent the Shockers to the free throw line just 9 times the entire game. Kentucky allowed Wichita State to grab 14 offensive rebounds and gave up too many second chance points.
Star Malik Monk hit just 3 of his 10 field goals against the Shockers and De’Aaron Fox was not much better hitting 5 of his 13 shots. If the two can regain their shooting eye, Kentucky will have solid shot at winning.
Lonzo Ball the freshman point guard for UCLA is arguably the tournament’s best player. He scored 18 points in the Bruins win over Cincinnati and 15 points in its first round win.
Bryce Alford did not shoot well hitting just 5 of his 13 shots, but still scored 16 against the Bearcats.
Ball and Alford need to shoot better for UCLA as do Monk and Fox for Kentucky. The Wildcats have the overall better talent on the floor, but a hot Alford and Ball can turn the Tide in the favor of UCLA.
The Bruins need to make sure if the Wildcats get hot, that they do not allow them to run off 10, 12 or more straight points or UCLA will be in for a long night.
UCLA is 14-6 ATS in its past 20 games played on neutral sites as the favorite.
Kentucky is 3-0-1 ATS in its past 4 games on a neutral court as a dog.
With this free pick, we like UCLA to cover.