NCAA Basketball - #2 UCLA Bruins vs #21 Oregon Ducks

Joe Catalano

Wednesday, December 28, 2016 7:55 PM UTC

Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2016 7:55 PM UTC

It's the "Clash of the Titans" as the UCLA Bruins take their undefeated record to Eugene, Oregon to square off against the pesky and talented Oregon Ducks. The Bruins are a mere 2 point betting favorite. Are the Ducks capable of knocking off the #2 team in the land in UCLA? 

#2 UCLA Bruins vs #21 Oregon Ducks The Contenders From the Pretenders

Inter-Conference play separates the men from the boys and although the Bruins have been dominant with wins over Kentucky and Michigan to their credit, they'll start to be tested on a regular basis.

One huge test for the Bruins is to see if they leave 2016 unscathed against the Oregon Ducks.The Ducks have run off 9 wins in a row and although they haven't faced a top 25 squad up until now, the strength of their schedule has been rather high. They'll have to be at their best to defeat the likes of T.J. Leaf, Bryce Alford, and Isaac Hamilton as this Bruins are averaging 96 points per game. UCLA is also a bettor's best friend as they're 10-3 ATS.

Freshman Phenom

The Bruins really have themselves a "grade A" superstar in the form of freshman, T.J. Leaf. Leaf has been a dominant force on the boards and an efficient shooter since his collegiate career began. He could possibly move to the next level next year, but the Bruins are concerned about the here and now and winning a NCAA Championship this season. With Leaf shooting an unconscious 65.5% from the field and 50% from beyond the arc, UCLA is in the catbird's seat and will be a tough team to beat all season long.

UCLA is a very deep squad with 6 players average in double figures scoring and Leaf leads this team with 17.5 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks per game. On mostly any other team, he'd be an easy 20 point per game scorer, but winning is about a team being a cohesive unit and statistics are secondary.

Lately, Bryce Alford has been the go-to guy offensively. He's had back to back 20 plus point efforts and has drilled 8- 3-pointers during this period of time. Alford must avoid forcing up unnecessary shots, which he has a tendency to do as this is a Bruins squad that's good enough to win without forcing the issue.

Game Time Decision

As for Oregon, they'll be looking to slow down the tempo of this game as they can't compete with UCLA offensively. What's even worse is that leading scorer and rebounder, Chris Boucher, has been out the last 2 games. He's a game-time decision and if he's able to play, he will as this game has enormous implications.

Even with Boucher in the Oregon lineup, the Bruins are the better team and without him, UCLA should be able to remain undefeated despite a possible challenge here.

 Free NCAAB Pick: UCLA Bruins -2Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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