Rematch of 2021 Final Four in West Region
Teams will meet in a rematch of a Final Four classic when the UCLA Bruins and Gonzaga Bulldogs clash in the Sweet 16 on Thursday.
UCLA will be aiming to avenge its Final Four loss after falling to Gonzaga on a half-court buzzer-beater two years ago.
Both teams had close games to advance in the West Region, with the Bruins defeating Northwestern 68-63 while the Bulldogs won 84-81 over TCU in a game that went down to the wire.
UCLA is in its third straight Sweet 16 and, with two more wins, could be making its 20th Final Four appearance. Gonzaga will be in its eighth straight trip to the Sweet 16.
According to college basketball lines, UCLA is a two-point favorite in the matchup.
UCLA Withstands A Push
The UCLA Bruins shot the ball well and were up 10 at half, but that didn’t stop Northwestern from making a push late in the game to try to come back.
UCLA shot 50% in the win and even without top defensive guard Jaylen Clark and with guard David Singleton going out late, the Bruins held off the Wildcats with strong defense.
The Bruins held Northwestern to 1-of-12 shooting during a crucial stretch late in the game to seal the win. The Wildcats shot 37.3% from the field and 27.3% from beyond the arc.
UCLA also kept Northwestern’s top shooters at bay. Boo Buie had his first basket of the game just before the first half ended while Chase Audige was held scoreless in the first half. They finished with 18 and 16 points, respectively.
The Bruins’ strong defense will continue to be key when they take on the high-powered Zags.
According to college basketball lines, UCLA has +750 odds to win March Madness.
Gonzaga Pulls It Out
Although the Gonzaga Bulldogs were down five at halftime, they pulled off the win behind yet another strong performance from Drew Timme.
The Zags are known for their hot shot-making, averaging 52.6% shooting. However, against TCU, they finished shooting 44.8%, instead relying on a series of runs to grab the win.
Though Timme led with 28 points in the win, Rasir Bolton was crucial in Gonzaga’s first run that gave the team a one-point lead at the start of the second half, scoring six of his 17 points in that time.
TIMME TIME @ZagMBB pic.twitter.com/HdVGn92QEc
— CBS Sports College Basketball 🏀 (@CBSSportsCBB) March 20, 2023
The Bulldogs also went on 13-1 run that helped them take a seven-point lead in the middle of the second, while a short 4-0 spurt to go up seven with one minute remaining helped secure the win.
Gonzaga’s ability to put together multiple scoring stretches will continue to be an advantage in the tournament.
According to NCAA basketball odds, the Bulldogs have +1000 odds to win the tournament.
Gonzaga vs UCLA Game Injuries
Gonzaga vs UCLA Head-to-Head
UCLA and Gonzaga have met seven times. The Bulldogs lead 5-2 and have won the last two matchups. The last clash between the two was in November 2021 at the Empire Classic in Las Vegas, where the Zags won 83-63.
According to NCAA lines, UCLA has +200 odds to reach the Final Four while the sportsbook gives Gonzaga +225 odds to do so.
Gonzaga vs UCLA Game Information
- Game: UCLA (31-5) vs. Gonzaga (29-5)
- Location: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, NV
- Day/Time: Thursday, March 23, 9:45 p.m. ET
- UCLA vs Gonzaga Live Stream: CBS
Gonzaga vs UCLA Betting Lines
Gonzaga vs UCLA Picks and Prediction
Two teams with a lot of recent history will go head-to-head once again for a trip to the Elite Eight.
Both UCLA and Gonzaga had somewhat tough second-round wins, and it won’t get easier for either team in the Sweet 16. The Bulldogs haven’t been known for their defense this season, but they stepped up in their win over TCU. Though the Bruins’ defense was a cornerstone of their team this season, it took a major injury hit. However, other players stepped up to secure the Northwestern win, and UCLA also shot the ball well in the win. With Gonzaga’s mediocre defense and UCLA’s solid shooting, the Bruins should get the close win.
The UCLA Bruins are listed at -135 in our Vegas lines. This means that if you wager $100 on the Bruins, you have a chance to win $74. The Gonzaga Bulldogs are +115, offering a chance to win $115 on a $100 wager.
The implied probability attached to the betting lines gives the UCLA Bruins a 57.45% chance to win, with the Gonzaga Bulldogs at 46.51%.