Northwestern vs UCLA 3/18/23 - College Basketball Picks & Predictions

Game: UCLA Bruins vs Northwestern Wildcats
Date & Time: 3/19/2023, 12:40 AM UTC
Location: Golden 1 Center
Address: Sacramento, California, USA
Latest Odds: UCLA -7.5 ; O/U 127.5

UCLA and Northwestern will meet in the second round of the NCAA Tournament at Sacramento’s Golden 1 Center on Saturday at 8:40 p.m. UCLA (30-5) is the No. 2 seed in the West Regional, while Northwestern (22-11) is the No. 7 seed.

UCLA (30-5) advanced to the second round with an 86-53 win over No. 15 seed UNC Asheville on Thursday. The Bruins scored the game's first 14 points, led 46-25 at the half, and were able to limit the minutes for their top players, especially late in the game.

Freshman starting center Adem Bona did not appear in the game despite being cleared to return, but he is expected be back on the floor against Northwestern. His replacement, senior Kenneth Nwubalogged, had a career high 10 points with four rebounds and two blocks. Jaime Jaquez Jr., the Pac-12 player of the year, finished with 17 points, eight rebounds and five steals. Freshman guard Amari Bailey also had 17 points.

Northwestern knocked off No. 10 seed Boise State, 75-67, on Thursday. The Broncos stayed with the Wildcats for most of the game despite Northwestern never trailing. Two seniors led the way for the Wildcats as Boo Buie had 22 points Chase Audige added 20. Junior Ty Berry had 13 points.

Northwestern is back in the tourney after missing out since 2017 when the Wildcats made the field for the first time ever. That season, they advanced to the second round as the No. 8 seed before losing to No. 1 seed and eventual tournament runner-up Gonzaga, 79-73.

Odds Table

Betting Trends

  • The Wildcats are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 game,.
  • The total has gone under in 9 out of the last 12 Wildcats games.
  • The Bruins are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games.
  • The total has gone over in 4 out of the last 6 Bruins games.
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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: UCLA Bruins -7.5

The defensive-minded Wildcats could struggle to keep up with the Bruins, who average 73.9 points per game. Northwestern has scored 67.7 ppg this season. UCLA can be dominant on defense as well, allowing opponents just 60.3 points per game this season, the sixth fewest in the country. The Wildcats are 15th giving up just 62.5 ppg. Final Score Prediction: UCLA wins 68-60.


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