NCAA Tournament

Lonzo Ball scare boosts pressure on UCLA as it faces Cincy at Golden 1 Center

UCLA’s Lonzo Ball watches his dunk fall through the net in the first half of a first-round game in the NCAA Tournament against Kent State at the Golden 1 Center on Friday.
UCLA’s Lonzo Ball watches his dunk fall through the net in the first half of a first-round game in the NCAA Tournament against Kent State at the Golden 1 Center on Friday. jvillegas@sacbee.com

South Region, second round

Who: No. 3 UCLA (30-4) vs. No. 6 Cincinnati (30-5)

When: Sunday, 6:40 p.m.

Where: Golden 1 Center, Sacramento

TV: TBS

Line: UCLA by 4

Three things to watch

Sweet pursuit: The pressure is on for both teams, certainly, especially for UCLA, a prolific bunch seeking its third Sweet 16 bid in the last four seasons. A defensive-minded team, Cincinnati pursues its second Sweet 16 since 2012 and won at Golden 1 on Friday after losing NCAA Tournament openers twice in the previous three years on the West Coast.

Ball bruise: UCLA star guard Lonzo Ball put a scare into Bruin nation when he took a hard fall trying to catch a lob late in the first half of Friday night’s 97-80 win over Kent State at Golden 1. He was helped to his feet and was a bit wobbly, but the freshman returned to action and finished with 15 points, four rebounds and three assists.

Ball said he’s good to go, but if he’s slowed even a little bit, Cincinnati has to pounce.

Cincy 1-2-3 punch: For all the firepower of UCLA, Cincinnati has a nifty 1-2-3 trio with Troy Caupain, Gary Clark and Kyle Washington with inside-outside scoring versatility. Caupain had 23 points, Washington 16 and Clark 15 to beat Kansas State 75-61 on Friday.

Related stories from Sacramento Bee

  Comments