UCLA Bruins at Colorado Buffaloes – NCAAM February 27

UCLA (17-5, 13-3) at Colorado (18.7, 12-6)

  • Time: 7 PST – 9 CST – 10 EST
  • Place: Coors Events Center, Boulder, Colo
  • TV: ESPN2

Opening Tip:

Colorado comes off it’s most impressive game of the season as the Buffaloes made 12-of-22 threes in dispatching USC, 80-62, Thursday night. The Buffaloes have to be sharp and tough in a 48-hour turnaround again the Pac-12 leading Bruins.

It’s the second home game of the final three in the farewell tour in Boulder for McKinley Wright, who is one of the top three players in the history of the Colorado program. There’s no doubt that Wright will bring as much fire as ever in his last game at Coors Events Center.

It’s also the Bruins’ second game in playing at altitude. The adjustment will be interesting as it varies with different teams, but ultimately it is tougher on the road team in the second game.

The Bruins are 14-6 vs. the Buffs in the series and have won the last three in a row by an average of 4.7 points.

UCLA eclipsed the Buffaloes back on Jan. 4, 65-62. Jaime Jaquez led the Bruins with 14 points as Colorado led most of the second half before Maddox Daniels missed a pair of late threes with UCLA leading 62-59 inside of a minute.

Vs The Spread:

UCLA:

  • The Bruins are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games
  • UCLA is 10-5 ATS in the last 15 contests
  • The Bruins are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 roadies

Colorado:

  • The Buffs are 3-6 ATS in their last 9 games
  • The UNDER has been the play in 5 of the Buffaloes’ last 6 games
  • The total has gone OVER in 4 of the last 6 Bruins-Buffaloes outings

Last Time Out:

Jules Bernard had 19 points and Johnny Juzang added 18 as the Bruins made 11 of their first 13 shots in Thursday night’s 76-61 win over Utah. UCLA won it’s fourth in a row as the Bruins made 11 threes and shot 57.9 percent from distance.

Colorado led wire-to-wire in besting USC, 80-62 as the 12th league win in the Pac-12 era was the most for Colorado since joining the league. McKinley Wright had a career-high 15 points and 14 assists and Jeriah Horne posted 14.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
UCLA +6½ (-105) +230 O 136½ (-110)
Colorado -6½ (-115) -275 U 136½ (-110)

Advantage, UCLA:

UCLA Bruins LogoThe Tyger Campbell – McKinley Wright matchup is one of the major storylines in this game. Campbell ranks third in the Pac-12 with 5.6 assists per game and also has a 3-to-1 assist-to-turnover ration. Johnny Juzang (14.7 ppg, 4.7 rpg- Pac-12) and Jaime Jaquez (11.3 ppg, 6.1 rpg – Pac-12), the Bruins’ two leading scorers, will have interesting matchups with Eli Parquet and Dillon Schwartz, who have length and are solid defenders.

Key Bruins Stat:

Jaime Jacquez has averaged 19.6 points and has shot 44.6 percent in UCLA’s last five games.   He has taken over as a leader along side Tyger Campbell as he is averaging 61.1 percent from the floor over those five and is 10th in the league in offensive rebounding at 1.9 per game.

X-Factor:

Coach Mick Cronin has done a stellar job of empowering Jules Bernard (9.5 ppg, 4.6 rpg) as he has gotten his confidence back and is making a significant impact down the stretch. Bernard is averaging 13.8 points per game in his last five as he has made 19-of-36 field goals in his last four games while pulling down five boards per contest.

Advantage, Colorado:

Colorado Buffaloes LogoMcKinley Wright, Jr., (14.5 ppg) should be atop the lists for national Player of the Year. He is a major example of how media on the east coast turn a blind eye toward the players in the western conferences (Pac-12, WCC, Mountain West) and how the players and teams are congruent with their east coast counter parts. Wright leads the league in assists (4.7 apg) and is third in  free throw percentage (85.4%), and is fourth in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.7-to-1). Wright wants to occupy UCLA’s Campbell with his offensive skills to try to make Campbell work hard enough on the defensive end that his offensive efficiency could be an issue.

Key Buffaloes Stat:

Evan Battey has been a man in the middle as he shoots 49.1 percent and while leading in offensive rebounds with 43. He’s 4-of-13 in his last three games though and can bring a huge physical presence against UCLA’s Cody Riley (10.5 ppg, 5.4 rpg) in the paint.

X-Factor:

Tulsa transfer Jeriah Horne (11.5 ppg) is second in scoring and is a nice complement to Wright in the backcourt. He had 24 points against USC and as he plays as the 3-guard, the way the Bruins matchup on his will be interesting. Conventional wisdom says Juzang, but his physicality against Horne will be an issue for the Bruins.

Winner: Colorado (-6½) 71, UCLA 63

The Bets
Colorado -6½
-115
Colorado
-275
UNDER 136½
-110
Sub Categories:
Kenneth Cross / Author

Kenneth Cross is a new entry to The Sports Geek staff as he has 25 years of experience in print, broadcast, and internet sports journalism. Cross is a lover of all sports, but college basketball is his passion. He estimates that he has seen around 1,500 college basketball games - live and in-person - and hopes that grows this season. If you listen to Radio, you have likely heard him on Sundays covering the Carolina Panthers for some 20 years. Now in Tampa Bay, he works as a national radio correspondent.