No. 15 seed UNC Asheville and No. 2 seed UCLA face off on Thursday in an NCAA Tournament first-round game.
The game is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. MST and can be seen on truTV.
Who will win the game?
Check out these picks and predictions for the contest.
UCLA is a 17.5-point favorite in the game, according to Tipico Sportsbook.
Sports Chat Place: Take UNC Asheville with the points vs. UCLA
Chris Ruffolo writes: “I’m leaning towards UNC-Asheville here. Not a game I’m rushing to bet, and I may just watch this one as a fan because I want to see how the Bruins fare in a high-pressure environment like the NCAA tournament without Jaylen Clark before feeling good about the Bruins potential going forward. UNC-Asheville’s also a dangerous opponent as they shoot the three extremely well and I think this has potential to be a fairly interesting matchup. Give me the Bulldogs and the points here.”
NCAA Tournament odds:2023 March Madness point spreads, money lines, over/unders for games
FanDuel: UCLA 78, UNC Asheville 56
Larry Rupp writes: “The Bruins still have veterans Tyger Campbell and Jaime Jaquez Jr. running the squad, though. Any miscues that come on defense due to absent players should be counterbalanced by an offense that ranks 48th in efficiency. UCLA owns an assist/turnover ratio of 1.38 as well (No. 25 in NCAA). UCLA has won 14 of its last 17 games in March, so back the Bruins to get the job done on Thursday.”
NCAA Tournament schedule, TV:March Madness game times, channels, announcers, how to watch
Fansided: Go with UNC Asheville with the points against UCLA
Joseph Summers writes: “The Bulldogs also rank 12th in free throw rate (41.8%), so they’ll have an advantage at the line as well. Not only that, but both teams also play at a slow pace, decreasing the likelihood of a big blowout. UCLA should pull away late, but I think the margin of victory will be much closer to 10 than 20. Thus, I’ll back the Bulldogs to cover the number behind a strong performance from Pimber.”
March Madness odds:Houston, Kansas, Alabama, Purdue 2023 men’s NCAA Tournament favorites
Christian Jope writes: “Mick Cronin’s side is one of the hottest teams in the country entering this tournament. Had they not lost to Arizona in the Conference Tournament final, they would have entered March Madness on a 13-game winning streak. Over that 13-game span, they held teams to just 59.8 points per game while winning by a 12.7-point differential. UNC Asheville enters this game with nothing to lose and everything to gain. Unfortunately, the Bruins outmatch them in the paint, an area where the Bulldogs excel. While UNC Asheville’s three-point shooting sends them on hot streaks, UCLA’s defense should be enough to reward the Bulldogs with a first-round exit.”
It writes: “UCLA has won 19 games against the spread this season, while failing to cover or pushing 15 times. UNC Asheville is 17-15-0 ATS this season.”
Reach Jeremy Cluff at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @Jeremy_Cluff.
Support local journalism: Subscribe to azcentral.com today.