[8:32 PM] Texas A&M v. #14 UCLA

Who will WIN this matchup?

Texas A&M Aggies (4-1)

#14 UCLA Bruins (6-0)


The line for this game is UCLA by 4.5 points.

The only weakness No. 13 UCLA seems to have this season is strength down low and the Bruins figure to be tested Sunday against Texas A&M in the championship game of the Wooden Legacy at Honda Center in Anaheim. UCLA showed that vulnerability in an 82-71 victory against Nebraska in Friday’s semifinals, and the Aggies figure to bring the same type of physicality.

The Aggies lost their three best players from last season’s team that advanced to the Sweet 16, but continue to rely on a handful of players who contributed to the run. Davis started all three games in the NCAA Tournament and and averaged 13 points and 7.3 rebounds in 21.7 minutes, Trocha-Morelos averaged 19 minutes, Hogg averaged 17.3 minutes and guard Admon Gilder averaged 29.3 minutes. Texas A&M has also benefited from strong starts to the season from freshman Robert Williams and J.C. Hampton, a senior graduate transfer from Lipscomb.

Bryce Alford has been in a tough spot as the son of UCLA coach Steve Alford, and shooting under 40 percent in each of his first three seasons with the Bruins didn’t help, even as he averaged more than 36 minutes a game the last two years. But the senior guard is earning his playing time this season, as he came into Friday’s semifinals shooting 48.1 percent from the floor, then made 7-of-14 shots and scored a team-high 18 points against Nebraska. One reason for the increased efficiency this season has been the better talent around him and the quicker pace of play, saving Alford from feeling like he has to beat the shot clock with difficult shots.

Texas A&M last met UCLA in the second round of the 2008 NCAA Tournament, a game also played at Honda Center, and the Bruins came away with a 51-49 victory.

The 2008 meeting at Honda Center featured future NBA players Russell Westbrook, Kevin Love, Darren Collison and Luc Mbah a Moute for UCLA and DeAndre Jordan and Donald Sloan for Texas A&M.

Ball came into the Nebraska game leading the nation in assists per game (9.4 apg) then totaled seven against the Cornhuskers.

StreakSmarts Pick: #14 UCLA Bruins

Confidence: 6/10

StreakSmarter Pick