UCLA will need a solid performance tonight to maintain their dreams of a title, it will not be easy though. They travel to Washington to face the Huskies how are out as 8 point favorites.
UCLA looks to keep its Pac-10 regular-season title hopes alive when it visits Washington on Thursday night.
The UCLA Bruins have won 12 of their past 14 games, including the past two by double-figures. They're coming off a 71-49 rout of Arizona at home on Saturday, which tied them with the Wildcats atop the Pac-10 standings. Reeves Nelson (14.0 PPG, 9.0 RPG) scored a career-high 27 points and added 16 rebounds against Arizona for his 11th double-double of the season.
UCLA shot 52.8% from the field (28-of-53) and limited the Wildcats to 31.5% from the floor (17-of-54). The Bruins have allowed only 57.8 PPG in their past eight contests, and have surrendered under 60 points five times during that stretch. In addition, nine of their past 14 opponents have been held to sub-40% shooting. UCLA fell at Washington, 74-63, on Dec. 31. Nelson had 19 points and 10 rebounds, while Tyler Honeycutt (12.8 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 35.4% three-pointers) and Malcolm Lee (13.3 PPG) added 12 points each.
Washington is one of the most efficient offensive teams in the nation. The Huskies are second in scoring (85.4 PPG), fourth in assists (17.7 APG), 11th in rebounding (39.7 RPG) and 15th in field-goal percentage (47.8%). However, that explosive offense was missing in action in an 80-69 home loss to Washington State on Sunday. Washington Huskies scored only 17 first-half points and shot just 33.8% for the game (23-of-68). Isaiah Thomas (16.9 PPG, 5.8 APG, 35.6% three-pointers) scored 21 points on 8-of-16 shooting, but he was the only UW player who shot 50% or better from the floor.
Second-leading scorer Matthew Bryan-Amaning (16.5 PPG, 8.3 RPG) was 3-for-11 for 14 points and 10 boards for his second straight double-double and 10th of the season. Bryan-Amaning scored 21 points and had 10 rebounds in the December meeting with UCLA, while Thomas added 17 points and nine assists. The Huskies held the Bruins to only 35.3% shooting in that game (18-of-51), while Washington hit 50% of its field goals (29-of-58).
Head to head & Stats
The last time the two teams played in Seattle was last season, when Washington handled UCLA with ease, 97-68. It marked the Huskies' largest margin of victory ever over the Bruins. Despite that game, the series has been pretty tight recently as Washington holds a slim 7-6 ATS edge in home meetings. UCLA is 15-12 ATS in all meetings since 1997. This season, both teams have had similar success ATS, as UCLA is 15-14 overall and 9-7 in Pac-10 play, while Washington is 14-11 and 8-8. But lately, it has been a different story, as the Huskies are 3-5 (SU and ATS) in their past eight conference games. UCLA finished the month of February with a 7-1 SU (6-2 ATS) record. The Bruins connected on 48.4% FG, posted a 7.5 RPG margin and allowed just 58.4 PPG on 39.3% FG. The NCAA basketball betting trends provide two more reasons to expect UCLA to cover the spread.
Ben Howland is 28-15 ATS (65.1%, +11.5 Units) as a road underdog or pick as the coach of UCLA. The average score was UCLA 68.7, OPPONENT 71.1 - (Rating = 1*).
Howland is 25-14 ATS (64.1%, +9.6 Units) after 2 straight games where they made 50% of their shots or better as the coach of UCLA. The average score was UCLA 67.8, OPPONENT 61.6 - (Rating = 1*).