SOUTH REGION, FIRST ROUND
Who: No. 3 UCLA (29-4) vs. No. 14 Kent State (22-13)
When: Friday, 6:57 p.m.
Line: UCLA by 18
Three things to watch:
Numbers game: UCLA led the nation this season by averaging 90.4 points per game. Kent State allowed 72.3 points per game, which ranked 182nd. That does not bode well for the Golden Flashes, who will have to keep this game from getting out of hand early.
Big three: Kent State’s top three scorers – Jimmy Hall, Jaylin Walker and Deon Edwin – account for nearly two-thirds of the team’s points. If UCLA can slow down one or two of those players, the Bruins should be in good shape.
Kids are alright: You’ve probably heard of UCLA freshman point guard Lonzo Ball, a likely lottery pick in the upcoming NBA draft – or at least of his outspoken father, LaVar. But while Ball has freed up the Bruins’ offense, it’s another freshman, forward T.J. Leaf, who leads the team with 16.2 points per game while shooting 61.8 percent from the floor.