#11 UCLA vs. #1 Michigan NCAA Tournament Elite Eight

#11 UCLA vs. #1 Michigan NCAA Tournament Elite Eight | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

No. 11 seed UCLA already eliminated Michigan State in the 2021 NCAA Tournament, and now the Bruins look to upset No. 1 Michigan as well as the teams meet in the East Region title game on Tuesday for a spot in the Final Four. The Wolverines are solid favorites on the NCAAB odds.

How to Bet UCLA vs. Michigan NCAA Basketball Odds & TV Info Last Meeting

UCLA leads the all-time series with Michigan 12-6. The Bruins also have the edge in NCAA tournament games between the two teams, going 3-1 against the Wolverines in games in 1965 (national final), 1975 (first round), 1993 (second round) and 1998 (second round).

Why Bet on UCLA? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

The Bruins (21-9) probably should have lost in the First Four to Michigan State but rallied to win in overtime and now are on the precipice of the Final Four. They upset SEC champion and No. 2 seed Alabama 88-78 in the Sweet 16 despite the Tide hitting a long three-pointer at the regulation buzzer to send it to OT.

UCLA scored the first five points in overtime and never looked back. The Bruins outscored Alabama by a 23-13 margin in the five-point overtime session. Six Bruins scored in double figures for the first time this season. Jules Bernard and Jaime Jaquez Jr. each had 17 points, while Johnny Juzang (who fouled out) and Tyger Campbell had 13 points. Cody Riley finished with 10 points, five rebounds and four blocks. David Singleton made 3 of 4 attempts from 3-point range and tallied 15 points off the bench.

Freshman Jaylen Clark tallied a team-best nine rebounds in just over 18 minutes off the bench. Clark had a team-leading four offensive rebounds and also scored three points (all on free throws). Three of UCLA’s four wins have been by double digits. Juzang is averaging 20.0 ppg in this tournament.

Nate Oats’ squad has been in the top three in adjusted defensive efficiency on KenPom all season, yet UCLA recorded 111 points per 100 possessions against Alabama. In addition, the Tide went 11-for-25 from the foul line, including a stretch at the end of regulation and beginning of overtime when they missed six of seven from the stripe. It was the worst free throw performance (minimum of 25 attempts) in the NCAA tournament since Kansas went 12-for-30 in the 2003 national championship game against Syracuse.

Along with No. 12 Oregon State the Elite Eight from the Pac-12, it’s the first time two teams seeded 11th or lower made the Elite Eight in the same postseason.

UCLA is in the Elite Eight for the first time since advancing to three consecutive Final Fours in 2006, 2007 and 2008. In addition, this marks the first Elite Eight berth for Coach Cronin, now in his second season at UCLA. The Bruins are the second First Four team to advance to the Elite Eight — and the first since VCU went to the Final Four in 2011.

Why Bet on Michigan? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Michigan (23-4) has won all three of its games by double digits in this Big Dance after a 76-58 rout of No. 4 Florida State on Sunday. Noles coach Leonard Hamilton admitted that the Wolverines presented a unique set of problems with 7-foot-1 center Hunter Dickinson operating in the post.

“This team executed so well,” Hamilton said. “Their spacing was unbelievable. They were extremely patient. We had a hard time turning them over. They really, really played off of their big guy. We spent so much time trying to defend Hunter, and they get to their perimeter shooters when the clock would run down to about 10 seconds left on the shot clock. They continue to keep staying in their system and they executed and made plays right toward the end. That’s what a good team will do.”

Brandon Johns Jr. had 14 points, six rebounds, two steals and two assists. Dickinson added 14 points, eight rebounds, two blocks and two assists. Franz Wagner collected a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds, and added a team-best five assists. Chaundee Brown Jr. also scored in double figures with 12 points. Michigan scored 50 percent of its points in the paint and 24 points off turnovers.

The anticipated offensive slide without injured standout Isaiah Livers has not arrived. Here are Michigan’s points per 100 possessions in its three wins: 114 (Texas Southern), 119 (LSU) and 112 (Florida State). All of that without the services of a player averaging 13.1 PPG and connecting on 43% of his 3-point attempts. Livers is not expected back Tuesday or perhaps at all in this tournament.

The Wolverines are in the Elite Eight for the 15th time in program history. It’s Michigan’s fourth appearance in the Elite Eight in the past nine seasons, and its first since advancing all the way to the title game in 2018. It’s the first appearance in a regional final as a coach for Michigan’s Juwan Howard, in his second season in Ann Arbor.

The winner of this game will face the winner of Tuesday’s first game, the West region final between No. 1 Gonzaga and No. 6 USC, on Saturday for a spot in the national title game on April 5. Game Trends
  • Bruins are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 NCAA Tournament games as an underdog.
  • Bruins are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games as an underdog.
  • Bruins are 13-5-1 ATS in their last 19 games following a ATS win.
  • Bruins are 18-7-1 ATS in their last 26 games following a straight up win.
  • Wolverines are 13-4-2 ATS in their last 19 NCAA Tournament games as a favorite.
  • Wolverines are 18-7 ATS in their last 25 games overall.
  • Wolverines are 15-6 ATS in their last 21 games following a straight up win.
Expert Prediction
  • Michigan 74, UCLA 69

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