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Can Underdog UCLA Upset Betting Favorite LSU’s Path To Repeat?

The time for the defending NCAAW basketball champions to step up and show what they are truly made of is finally here. After cruising by to score their first wins of the tournament against Rice and Middle Tennessee, the star-cladded LSU Tigers are set to throw down in what promises to be one of the best Sweet 16 matchups in the women’s tournament bracket against the powerhouse UCLA Bruins in the Albany 2 Region, dubbed the “Region of Death.

With the game slated to go off on Saturday, March 29, at 7 p.m. ET, at the MVP Arena in Albany, broadcasted by ESPN nationally, LSU knows what it takes to win on the biggest stage, but UCLA is hungry to prove that they belong among the elite. So who’s moving on to the Elite Eight?

The underdog UCLA Bruins are in a sweet spot to upset Women’s March Madness betting favorite
LSU. Image by x/@UCLAWBB


Will UCLA Be a Speed Bump or a Roadblock In LSU’s Path To Repeat?

Defending champs LSU may be slight betting favorites, but UCLA is no pushover and could prove to be their toughest test yet. With both teams playing an aggressive and physical style, this game will be a fight from start to finish.

While both squads are loaded with talent, the spotlight will be on each team’s “Big Three.” For LSU, it’s the trio of Angel Reese, Aneesah Morrow, and Flau’Jae Johnson, while UCLA’s Charisma Osborne, Kiki Rice, and Lauren Betts look to lead the charge. Which star-studded trio will rise to the occasion and lead their squad to victory?


LSU vs UCLA Sweet 16 Odds


Underdog Bruins Are Ready To Throw Down Against Tigers

UCLA, fresh off a dominant 29-point win over California Baptist and a hard-fought comeback victory against Creighton, are ready for whatever LSU is looking to dish out this Saturday. The Bruins, who tied for second in the Pac-12 this season, are no strangers to success under head coach Cori Close, as they make their sixth Sweet 16 appearance and aim to reach their second Elite Eight under her guidance.

Plus, while the Bruins are coming into this game as underdogs, that doesn’t mean they don’t know how to take down higher marked opponents. Look at how they beat Colorado twice this season, as well as USC and UConn. In short, this team can ball with the best of them and squeeze out wins where possible.

UCLA’s dynamic duo of Rice and Betts have been instrumental in the team’s March Madness success. Betts proved unstoppable against Creighton, recording an impressive double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds, while Rice led the Bruins in scoring with 24 points, showcasing her ability to take over games when needed. Gabriela Jacquez also made her presence felt on the boards, pulling down 11 rebounds and contributing eight points in the win.

As the Bruins prepare to face the defending champions LSU, they’ll need to rely on their balanced attack and defensive prowess to overcome the Tigers’ aggressive style of play. With rebounding being one of the team’s biggest strengths, as five players are averaging at least five rebounds per game, the Bruins will need to take advantage of said edge and make the Tigers pay under the board.


There’s A Reason Why LSU Are Odds On Favorites

LSU, who are coming into this game boasting the third-best national title odds, know that a win against UCLA only means another stop on what looks to be one of the toughest roads in college hoops to repeat as champions.

If the Tigers manage to overcome this challenge, they’ll be met by either a revenge-seeking Iowa team, who would love nothing more than a chance to get theirs after last season’s title loss, or a Colorado squad that already bested them in the season opener.

One of the main keys in this game will be how the battle on the boards will go down between both teams. Thankfully the Tigers can rest easy knowing they’ll have Reese, the second-best rebounder in the nation, and Morrow once again showing why they are the most dominant rebounding duo in the country.

Still though, the Tigers will need to shore up their defensive rebounding, as they rank 100th nationally in that category. Reese and Morrow must be aggressive and secure boards on both ends of the floor to give LSU the edge.

Johnson, LSU’s star guard, has shown to have the ability to control the game’s tempo which could end up making things tougher for UCLA’s backcourt. If she can assert her influence, the Tigers will have a better chance of coming out on top.

While LSU is the favorite, UCLA would be their most significant victory of the season. The Tigers’ best win to date is an 82-64 triumph over Virginia Tech in November, and they’ve struggled against tougher competition, going 0-3 in their three most challenging games this season.

Despite having the talent and postseason pedigree to win this game, LSU still has something to prove after failing to secure a signature win in the regular season, meaning that a strong win against the Bruins could go very far.

The Tigers need to stay focused and not get caught up in thinking about the Elite Eight or a possible Final Four trip. Winning back-to-back titles is not an easy task whatsoever, even with a team stacked to the brim with talent. Keeping a sharp mind and focus for two whole seasons is also incredibly hard, which is why, for LSU, staying locked in on the immediate task ahead, which is the UCLA game will be essential.


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