UCLA vs. Kentucky. 34 Final Four appearances, 19 national championships and over 4,000 wins between the two of them. Arguably the two most prestigious programs in college basketball history, tons of NBA prospects between them, and easily two of the most exciting teams this season.
This is going to feel an awful lot like a national championship, but it’s only the Sweet 16. Here’s everything you need to know to watch:
Kentucky vs. UCLA Viewing Info
Date: Friday, March 24, 2017
Start Time: 9:39 p.m. ET (30 minutes after the conclusion of UNC-Butler)
TV Channel: CBS
Live Stream: March Madness Live or CBS All Access
Spread: UCLA (-1), per OddsShark.com
Moneyline: UCLA (-116), Kentucky (-104)
Head-to-Head History: Kentucky is 7-6; UCLA won 97-92 earlier this season
Players to Watch
You can’t really go wrong here. With the number of NBA prospects scattered throughout both rosters, you could probably just throw all the player names into a hat, pick two, and you’d come out with a couple of extremely talented players to watch.
That said, you can’t look past the point guard matchup.
Lonzo Ball is a likely top-two pick next June. He’s one of the most efficient offensive players in America (seventh in effective field-goal percentage and ninth in true-shooting percentage), he has unbelievable vision, he has historically good passing ability, and he has transformed this UCLA offense into a fast-paced, well-oiled machine.
He’ll be matched up against another likely lottery pick in De’Aaron Fox. Kentucky’s freshman point guard isn’t nearly as efficient on the offensive end, but he’s an absolute blur. Boasting electric, quick-twitch speed and athleticism, he can get to the rim at will, he can distribute and he can make opponents really uncomfortable with his defense.
When these teams met in Lexington in December, Ball had 14 points (5-of-12 shooting), seven assists, six rebounds, one steal, one block and six turnovers in the win, while Fox put up 20 points (8-of-20 shooting), nine assists, two rebounds, one steal and two turnovers.
There will be so many things to watch in this game, but you can’t go wrong keeping your eyes locked to the matchup of future NBA point guards.
The Sweet 16 game between UCLA and Kentucky is overflowing with future NBA players. We rank the best prospects for next June’s draft.
With 32 NCAA tournament games on tap for Thursday and Friday, here’s an updated look at projections for the Top 30 picks in the 2017 NBA draft.