[3:03 PM] Ohio State @ #2 UCLA

What will be the GAME RESULT?

Ohio State: Wins or Single Digit Loss

@ #2 UCLA: Wins By Double Digits


UCLA will take its show on the road when the No. 2 Bruins travel to Las Vegas to take on Ohio State on Saturday afternoon in the CBS Sports Classic at the T-Mobile Arena. UCLA is second in the nation in scoring at 97.9 points a game and scored more than 100 points for the fifth time this season in a 102-62 victory Wednesday night against visiting UC Santa Barbara.

If there’s a matchup the Buckeyes might be able to exploit, it’s at the small forward position, where Ohio State leading scorer Jae’Sean Tate (13.9) might be able to out-muscle the razor-thin Hamilton.

The win against Connecticut helped put behind the sting of losing in overtime to mid-major Florida Atlantic four days earlier, when the Buckeyes let an 11-point lead midway through the second half get away. The Buckeyes can clamp down on defense when they’re at their best, coming into the weekend ranked 24th in the nation in points against at 61.7, and they’ll need to keep UCLA closer to 80 points if they hope to escape with a win. A key player for Ohio State might be 6-8 power forward Marc Loving, who’s in his fourth season with the Buckeyes and could be facing a UCLA team that’s shorthanded up front, as 7-footer Thomas Welsh has missed the last two games with a bruised right knee.

A key figure for the Bruins this season has been backup point guard Aaron Holiday, who started last season as a freshman but has been supplanted by Ball. Holiday hasn’t let the demotion affect his production, as he’s bumped his scoring up to 13.9 points after averaging 10.3 last season, despite averaging about 4 1/2 minutes less of playing time. Holiday’s been especially strong the last four games, averaging 17 points and five assists while shooting 61.8 percent from the floor and 11-for-17 from 3-point range.

The last time a team scored at least 50 points in the first half against Ohio State was March 3, 2001, when Penn State scored 51.


StreakSmarts Pick: #2 UCLA: Wins By Double Digits

Confidence: 5/10

StreakSmarter Pick