Can the Bruins keep up a Cinderella run?
The No.11 UCLA – an atypical bracket breaker – will continue his run from the play-in game with a Sweet 16 game against the No.2 Alabama in an Eastern Region semi-final. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. ET Sunday at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. The game will be televised on TBS.
UCLA (20-9) made their last appearance at Sweet 16 in 2017. Second-year coach Mick Cronin has the Bruins at the right time, and they’re one of four Pac-12 teams to play the second weekend.
Alabama (26-6) is on an eight-game winning streak that started before the SEC tournament. The Crimson Tides are chasing their first Elite Eight appearance since 2004, and second-year coach Nate Oats guided Alabama to a pair of double-digit wins in the first two rounds.
Here’s everything you need to know about betting Alabama vs UCLA in the 2021 NCAA tournament, including updated odds, trends and our predictions for the Sweet 16 game.
Alabama vs UCLA odds
- Propagated: Alabama –6.5
- More under: 145.5
- Moneyline: Alabama –260, UCLA +215
Three betting trends to watch out for
–Alabama are 4-6-1 CEP against non-conference opponents this season, but they’ve covered single-digit gaps in four of their last five games.
– The Crimson Tide are 5-3 CEP through their eight-game winning streak.
– UCLA is 4-3 ATS as an underdog, but they are 3-4 S // U in these games.
Key players in Alabama
Senior forward Herb Jones is the leader of the Crimson Tide. It averages 11.3 ppg. and 6.5 rpg. Alabama have three guards who average double-digit points at Jaden Shackelford (14.3), John Petty (12.5) and Jahvon Quinerly (12.7). The Crimson Tide has eight players who average at least five points per game.
UCLA key players
Guards Johnny Juzang and Jaime Jaquez carried the Bruins’ goal load throughout the tournament. Juzang was the Bruins’ leading scorer in the regular season, averaging 22.3 points per game in the tournament. Jaquez is 16.7 in the tournament, and that combination kept UCLA going. Jules Bernard (10.4), Tyger Campbell (10.1) and Cody Riley (10.0) also average double digits.
Best Individual Game: Herb Jones vs. Cody Riley
Jones has an impact on the game beyond his score. He has at least six rebounds in every game thanks to Alabama’s winning streak, but he’ll need to be more involved in the offense after taking just four shots in the second-round win over Maryland. Riley plays the same role, and he’s had double-digit rebounds in big games against San Diego State, Arizona State and Oregon State this season. He knocked down 12 boards in the second round against Abilene Christian.
Alabama vs UCLA stats you should know
Both teams shot the ball well from a distance of 3 points from the tournament. UCLA is 24 of 56 (42.9 percent) in three games. Alabama are 21 of 47 (44.7%) in two games. Both teams also defended the 3-point line well. Crimson Tide’s opponents are 15 of 50 (30 percent) in those two games, and the Bruins’ opponents are 13 of 51 (25.5 percent).
Get to know… Jahvon Quinerly
Quinerly, a Villanova transfer, leads Alabama to 44.2% from 3 points. He has become a consistent goalscorer for the Crimson Tide with 14 straight games with 10 or more points. The 6-1 guard also distributed 11 assists in the second round victory over Maryland. In a game that features solid guard play on both sides, Quinerly could make a difference.
Alabama vs UCLA prediction
UCLA poses an interesting challenge for Alabama, especially if Juzang and Jaquez stay hot. The Crimson Tide still matches well on the perimeter, however, and Jones will seek his shot a little more in this game. The Bruins can steal this game if they stay hot from 3 points, but we still love the Crimson Tide upgrading to the Elite Eight.
Final score: Alabama 74, UCLA 67