9:06 pm
December 19

UCLA @ Cincinnati

Who will WIN this matchup?

UCLA Bruins (7-3)

@ Cincinnati Bearcats (9-2)


Current odds:

UCLA Bruins: (+320

Cincinnati Bearcats: (-400)


 The line for this game is Cincinnati by 9 points.

• Getting back up after a hard fall is never easy, but Cincinnati and UCLA will try to do that Wednesday night. The Bearcats’ nine-game winning streak ended Saturday night with a 70-59 loss at No. 16 Mississippi State and the Bruins were upended at home by Belmont 74-72. UCLA and Cincinnati will face each other for the third consecutive season, but it will be the Bruins’ first visit to the Bearcats’ homecourt. The teams split the last two meetings, with UCLA winning in the NCAA Tournament two years ago and Cincinnati prevailing at Pauley Pavilion last December.

• The Bruins remain in the Midwest for a second game Saturday against Ohio State in Chicago. They’ll be trying to rebound from an upset loss at home last Saturday when Belmont scored the go-ahead basket with 2.3 seconds remaining.

• The Bearcats shot 37.3 percent from the floor and made 3-of-14 from 3-point range in Saturday’s road loss. Jarron Cumberland led Cincinnati with 21 points and Keith Williams scored 15, but its bench was outscored 24-7 and the team committed 13 turnovers that led to 16 Mississippi State points in a disappointment performance. Cumberland and Williams continue to be Cincinnati’s most consistent offensive weapons, averaging 15.8 and 11.1 points, respectively, and Tre Scott is averaging 10.4 points and a team-high 6.5 rebounds.

• Coach Steve Alford complained about the Bruins’ lackadaisical effort in the loss to Belmont, which ended a three-game home winning streak, and put the team through a hard practice before departing for Cincinnati. UCLA has struggled offensively in the past two games and that could be problematic against aggressive, defensive-oriented Cincinnati. Kris Wilkes has scored in double figures in all 10 games and averages a team-leading 17.4 points per game, and freshman Moses Brown is averaging 9.7 rebounds for UCLA, which leads the Pac-12 in rebounding (44.7 per game).

• Cumberland has scored 20 or more points in four games this season.

• Cincinnati ranks 16th in the country, according to kenpom.com, in defensive efficiency and is giving up 57.6 points per game – sixth nationally entering Tuesday.

• UCLA’s Jaylen Hands leads the Pac-12 and was tied for 14th nationally in assists per game (6.8).

StreakSmarter Pick
Cincinnati Bearcats