One of the bigger upsets in the recent history of the NCAA Tournament meets a team that’s playing their best basketball of the season in the tournament, as the No. 14 Abilene Christian Wildcats take on the No. 11 UCLA Bruins in a double-digit seed battle.
Game date: Monday, March 22
Game time: 5:15 p.m.
TV channel: TBS
Location: Bankers Life Fieldhouse
March Madness Odds from Draftkings Sportsbook
Point Spread: TBA
No. 11 UCLA 19-9 (13-6 Pac-12)
First Four: Defeated No. 11 Michigan State 86-80
First Round: Defeated No. 6 BYU 73-62
KenPom rating: 41 Overall, 15 Offense, 87 Defense
NET ranking: 46, (3-6 VS Quad 1)
Leading scorer: Johnny Juzang (14.5 ppg)
The Bruins couldn’t be stopped by the Cougars, who simply could not contain Juzang despite doing everything but handcuffing him to the scorer’s table. Juzang had 27 points on 10-16 from the floor, and his team was 8-19 from beyond the arc. The Bruins scored 1.24 points per possession on the No. 26 defense in college basketball, and earned their shot at the Jayhawks.
No. 14 Abilene Christian: 24-4 (13-2 Southland)
First Round: Defeated No. 3 Texas 53-52
KenPom rating: 81 Overall, 152 Offense, 31 Defense
NET ranking: 74 (1-2 vs. Quad 1)
Leading scorer: Kolton Kohl (12.3 ppg)
Thanks to two free throws by Joe Pleasant with 1.2 seconds left, the Wildcats knocked off Texas in the very last game of the first round, and what might have been the most dramatic as well.
ACU forced 23 Longhorns turnovers, and outrebounded their in-state rivals (yes, it’s a rivalry now) 36-31, including 18-5 on the offensive glass. Coryon Mason and Pleasant led all Wildcats with 11 points a piece, but this upset was done with defense.
One thing is for certain: We’ll have at least one double-digit seed in the Sweet 16.