NCAA Tournament Play-In Game: UCLA Bruins vs. St. Bonaventure Bonnies

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Well, the overall conference tournament performance was like that of most teams, and not worth writing home - or in a national publication - about, but a great NCAA Tournament run can make everything that happened in prior weeks meaningless. LIU Brooklyn and Radford meet at 6:40 p.m Eastern. "Yeah", Alford said. "But we don't control that". March success is about transcendent guard play, and Bobby Hurley has three really good ones in Tra Holder, Shannon Evans and Remy Martin.

But at least they'd made it after a challenging November and early December. The college basketball odds for the game have the Bruins favored to pick up the win. Freshmen Jalen Hill and Cody Riley were suspended for the season for shoplifting during a trip to China in November.

UCLA is averaging three more rebounds per game than St. Bonaventure, and has a starter in Welsh who's consistently cleaning the glass.

"Four months ago we're sitting in China and not knowing what's going on and what's happening", Alford said. So to know that we're in, it's very exciting.

The Bruins weren't alone in dealing with off-court issues. The Wildcats' mark was below their season average of 0.293, while the Bruins' was below their season average of 0.267. Arizona's Sean Miller missed one game and three practices after ESPN reported he discussed a $100,000 payment to star Deandre Ayton, which the coach has denied.

Holiday (20.3 points, 5.8 assists, 3.6 rebounds per game) is the catalyst to everything UCLA does, so he gets the nod in this matchup. The victor of that game will take on No. 6-seed Florida (20-12) in Dallas, Texas, on Thursday.

The UCLA men's basketball team is set to fly to Dayton, Ohio, Monday morning for Tuesday's NCAA tournament First Four game against St. Bonaventure.

The Bruins have a 2-0 all-time record against the Bonnies in this series - having won the previous two meetings in December 1973 and December 1974. The Bonnies fell in the second round to Florida State in 2012, their last tournament appearance.

Saint Bonaventure (+3½) over UCLA: First off, the St. needs to be spelled out now, following the cruel scare thrown into the good people of Olean, N.Y. - so Mike Vaccaro says - because of TBS' infuriating decision to mess with one of the few universally beloved American traditions, and reveal the teams in alphabetical order, only to screw up and list Seton Hall before Saint Bonaventure.