UCLA pulls away for 97-80 win over Kent State

To get ready for those games they, as they have had to do all year, need to improve their defense.

He didn't mince words when asked why all of a sudden he was showing such strong support for the Golden Flashes. Ball's health is going to be THE story going into Sunday's meeting with Cincinnati. Kent State only averages 76 per game and gives up only 72. Their tournament hopes will have to rest on Ball's shoulders. It was bandaged here, but it was fine. The Bruins have too much scoring and tempo for Cincinnati to shut them down. The only reason this was a game for such a long stretch was Kent State's ability to generate second-chance points.

Still, add that to Ike Anigbogu's sprained foot, and it seems that adversity has made a long-awaited visit to UCLA at the 35-game mark of this ebullient season. But they were only ahead by eight at halftime, their infamously suspect defense had issues, and concerned eyes will be following star freshman point guard Lonzo Ball after he fell hard in the first half and landed on his right hip. This is nothing surprising or different to us. So considering all of the distractions, Alford got the Bruins to avoid the upset, and in March, that's all that matters. Probably not. The Bruins have talent coming out of their ears with studs like TJ Leaf, Bryce Alford and of course, Ball.

When those two are playing free and confidently, the Bruins are a double handful. The Bruins tried only 14 three-pointers. Cincinnati, UCLA's opponent on Sunday, is a little more talented and is also a very, very good offensive rebounding team. "He does a tremendous job and they've been really consistent like we have". We knew they were going to play four guards a lot. "I don't think anybody lacks confidence".

Kent State ends the year with a 22-14 record.

So, with all that said, is it any shocking that UCLA looked so listless in a game that they ultimately won by 17?

Senderoff says even though the team did not pull off a win, just going to the Big Dance is a big deal for the team and Kent State. "We have to stay who we are offensively and defensively". "But if we make the big stops when we have to, we can still have success".

The last time Kansas lost an opening-round game of the NCAA Tournament was as a No. 4 seed in 2006 to a Bradley team led by Les. He didn't, and Goloman fed Holiday, who converted for a 10-point lead that could have been six. Barkley started poking the bear by challenging Ball to a one-on-one matchup.

"Finished the game, got up, I'm good", he said.

"I have some animosity toward the UCLA program at this particular moment", Barkley said.

"Prior to our game against Akron where we snapped their 30-game home winning streak, we watched a video on the Super Bowl", Senderoff said.

UCLA's Thomas Welsh hadn't seen almost as much of Cincinnati, but the big man was just as familiar with the reputation of the upcoming opponent.

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