- Tipoff: 9:40 p.m. ET
- Location: Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, California
- Television: tru TV / The game can also be streamed via the NCAA March Madness app or at NCAA.com
- Announcing crew: Spero Dedes (play-by-play), Steve Smith (analyst), Len Elmore analyst) and Ros Gold-Onwude (sideline reporter)
- Radio: 700 WLW
- Announcing crew: Dan Hoard (play-by-play) and Terry Nelson (analyst)
- Series history: Although a short lived all-time series, there have been pretty massive implications in the handful of games the Bearcats and Bruins have played. UC topped UCLA 72-70 in the 1962 NCAA Tournament semifinal before capturing its second-straight national championship. The Bruins survived against the Bearcats in double overtime in the 2002 NCAA Tournament as well. In all, UC holds a 2-1 series lead.
After a dominating offensive performance lifted the Cincinnati Bearcats to a 75-61 win over the Kansas State Wildcats in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, Troy Caupain and company are set up for a showdown with No. 3 seed UCLA in the final game of the round of 32.
Caupain decided that UC was going to win on Friday against the Wildcats. The senior point guard scored a season-high 23 points on 7-of-10 shooting, consistently taking the ball to the rim and sinking shots from all over the floor. The same thing could be said of the Bearcats overall, as they were on fire from the floor all night, shooting 62.8 percent. Gary Clark put in 15 points with seven rebounds, Kyle Washington added 16 points and Jacob Evans didn’t score a ton (nine points), but handed out five assists, blocked three shots and record three steesteals. The win was the 30th of the season for UC, marking the first time since 2002 that it has reached that plateau.
UCLA is a whole different beast compared to Kansas State, so the Bearcats will need to steel themselves. The No. 2 team in the country in adjusted offense, the Bruins are led by future NBA Draft lottery pick Lonzo Ball, who had 15 points in the first round against Kent State. T.J. Leaf paced the squad with 23 points and the Bruins showed off their offensive skill set by shooting 62.7 percent from the field.
This game will be the hardest challenge of the season for the Bearcats, who are trying to reach the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2012. UCLA is a top notch squad and the Sacramento crowd will likely lean heavily in its favor. However, if the Bearcats play like they did on Friday, they can pull off the upset. We’ll have to wait until tonight to find out if the dance will go on.