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The Fearsome Threesome Episode 16: It’s March Madness BABAY, Round 1 Preview

With the world’s eyes on them, can the Bruins live up to their hype?

NCAA Basketball: PAC-12 Conference Tournament-Arizona vs UCLA Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

March, where amazing happens. March, where dreams are made and broken. March, where the legend of Lonzo Ball will be cemented.

UCLA was rewarded with a three seed in the south region. This region has been littered with blue bloods like Kentucky and North Carolina. But UCLA will start off with the Golden Flashes of Kent State. According to Yahoo Sports, 97.5 percent of people have selected UCLA to advance into the second round. Should UCLA fans be concerned? Probably not. The Bruins have talent coming out of their ears with studs like TJ Leaf, Bryce Alford and of course, Ball. The UCLA offense has been humming and finished the regular season averaging 90 points per game. Kent State only averages 76 per game and gives up only 72.

UCLA should use this game as a major confidence boost and a building block going forward in the tournament. Because the road to the final four is going to be extremely difficult for the Bruins. Kentucky and UNC will prove to be a tremendous challenge for UCLA (if they actually play). To get ready for those games they, as they have had to do all year, need to improve their defense. The magic number for the Bruins is 75. If they can hold teams to 75 points they can beat anyone in the country. This starts with Kent State; they should not even compete with UCLA in this game and if the Bruins don’t beat the Golden Flashes by at least 15 I will be fairly disappointed. Their tournament hopes will have to rest on Ball’s shoulders.

Ball has been tabbed as one of the potential break-out stars in the tournament. He could have one of the legendary runs during this tournament that people could talk about for the next 10 years. During the regular season, he seemed almost a little too passive with the ball. He should look to shoot a lot more and carry the offensive load for the team. He should still look to distribute and give his teammate open shots but; if the Bruins want to win the championship Ball has to average 20 points and 10 assists to make the UCLA offensive even more dangerous.

But let’s just start with Kent State. The Bruins will come out and dominate the game and send a message to the other teams in their region with a 95-78 victory over the Golden Flashes.