Let the madness commence! Tonight starts what all college basketball fans have been waiting for and it’s only going to get better. This college basketball season has been beyond superb and the fans are in for something special for the next three weeks. There are a few surprises and many regulars in the field and tonight kicks off the play in games with two of the first four getting it on.
UCLA has had its share of weird moments this year and the season in general for this storied program has been a disappointment. Now is there chance and they, by all-rights are the “power house” playing the “nobody”. What happens in this thing? Does St. Bonaventure have a chance and will they show up to play March basketball?
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This time around for the Bruins is their fifth in six years to make an appearance in the tournament. They are taking on St. Bonaventure in what looks to be a very competitive contest in Dayton, Ohio. For the Bruins, they come into the tournament on a very large bubble and they are fortunate to have a place at the table. UCLA has lost three of their last 5 games and they have struggled down the stretch.
Again, it has been a weird year for UCLA. To begin the season, three players were arrested in China and the entire situation was close to becoming an international incident. Freshmen LiAngelo Ball, Jalen Hill and Cody Riley, who were detained in Hangzhou, about 100 miles southwest of Shanghai, on Nov. 7.
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Their arrest happened a day before President Donald Trump arrived in China during a nearly two-week visit to Asia. Trump told reporters Tuesday he discussed the basketball players’ fate during a meeting with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, and said that their departure for the U.S. was in the works.
“I had a great conversation with President Xi,” Trump said aboard Air Force One on the first leg of his trip back to the United States. “He was terrific, and they’re working on it right now. And hopefully everything is going to work out.”
The Bruins have pretty much been through the proverbial war this season and maybe it has made them stronger. Their last game of the season came as a lost last weekend to the Arizona Wildcats and they let it all hang out. Credit must be given to them for putting up a valiant effort as it took overtime for the Wildcats to get the win.
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St. Bonaventure has put together a great year and other than the loss to Davidson; had won 13 games in a row to wind the season down. Do not go to sleep on a very physical team and a deep team that can run with any Division 1 team in the country. St. Bonaventure will not go down easy and although they may not be a “powerhouse” in the college basketball world; they can be counted on to play like a “powerhouse”.
This game is the perfect game to kick off March Madness, it’s going to be hard fought every minute and every step of the way. UCLA is no lock in this one and it will be no surprise to see St. Bonaventure advance to the dance.
Prediction: UCLA 83 St. Bonaventure 79