NCAA Tournament Play-In Game: UCLA Bruins vs. St. Bonaventure Bonnies

Abbie Parr  Getty Images

Abbie Parr Getty Images

The last two seasons, the Bruins have made it to the Sweet 16. "It will be a game-time decision, but hopefully he'll be out there and he'll be 100 percent and he can help us". "I thought we were soundly in, how we finished, winning at 'SC". Those are the numbers of a first team all-conference player. The Bonnies are one of the hottest teams in the country - they've won 13 of their past 14 games, and have a slew of impressive wins this season, including over Rhode Island, Davidson, Maryland, Vermont and at Syracuse - and even have familiarity playing at UD Arena in Dayton, Ohio, in conference play.

The First Four has been held annually in connection with the expansion of the tournament field from 65.

The last two years, SportsLine's computer simulation correctly predicted nine out of 12 double-digit NCAA Tournament upsets in the first round with their computer algorithm. In 2011, VCU went from the First Four to the Final Four. The victor of that game will take on No. 6-seed Florida (20-12) in Dallas, Texas, on Thursday.

The Bruins have won eight of their past 12 games. The survivor will travel to Dallas where it will take on sixth-seeded Florida in the first round on Thursday. Freshmen Jalen Hill and Cody Riley were suspended for the season for shoplifting during a trip to China in November.

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"I'm extremely proud of how hard they've worked, how hard they've stayed together". "And now we're in the NCAA Tournament, and that's a very good accomplishment". St. Bonaventure comes into the game with a 25-7 record, coming off a loss in the Atlantic 10 tournament to Davidson. In fact, the Bruins should be ready to make a big run in the Big Dance.

This will be St. Bonaventure's seventh appearance in the NCAA tournament and first since 2012. The Bonnies are led by a pair of high-scoring guards, while UCLA relies on junior guard Aaron Holliday for a big chunk of the offense. Its enrollment is 2,100 - 1,635 undergraduates and 465 graduate students, according to the university.

This is the 49th time UCLA has advanced to the NCAA tournament and fourth time in Alford's five seasons. "I think one of the advantages, if we have an advantage, is that we played here a number of times". Finals will begin next Monday when the team would be preparing for a East Region semifinal if it wins its next three games.

"We really weren't expecting that as we're watching the show", coach Steve Alford said. "It's a demanding stretch for our guys".

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