2018 ScheduleAll times ET

2018 Schedule
4th in MAC E

Leaf-led Bruins pull away from Kent State

TJ Leaf scored 23 points, Thomas Welsh added 16 and UCLA pulled away late for a 97-80 victory over scrappy Kent State on Friday night in the NCAA Tournament South Region.

Brian Bennett ESPN Staff Writer 

UCLA encountered some rough patches before and after halftime to make their fans squirm for a bit. In the end, though, the Bruins shot 63 percent and pulled away from Kent State for a 97-80 victory, completing an undefeated first round for the Pac-12. UCLA will have to maintain its focus for longer stretches on Sunday against Cincinnati, in a juicy second-round matchup between two 30-win teams.

Brian Bennett ESPN Staff Writer 

UCLA has looked a little listless since late in the first half but still has too many weapons for a Kent State team that has only had four players score. A concern for Steve Alford: the much taller Bruins have been outrebounded to this point and have surrendered 12 offensive boards.

Brian Bennett ESPN Staff Writer 

After an awful start, Kent State has found some serious life and trails UCLA now by just five points. Lonzo Ball has been moving awkwardly since falling on his hip late in the first half.

Brian Bennett ESPN Staff Writer 

Scary moment for UCLA as Lonzo Ball took a hard fall on a lob pass late in the first half. Ball stayed in the game but rubbed his left hip area for a while and appeared to be limping a bit the rest of the half. Ball is already dealing with a left thumb sprain. The Bruins lead 47-39 at halftime.

Brian Bennett ESPN Staff Writer 

Kent State looks more like the team that was 13-12 and 5-7 in the MAC a little more than a month ago than any kind of Cinderella early on. UCLA has done pretty much what it wants in building an 11-2 edge, and even with Ike Anigbogu out with a foot injury, the Bruins have major size advantages all over the court.

Brian Bennett ESPN Staff Writer 

Sacramento is known for the cowbell, but not the buzzer beater so far. The first three games at Golden 1 Center were pretty much wire-to-wire jobs decided by double digits. Unless Kent State can pull off a major surprise against UCLA in the nightcap, the song will remain the same.

ESPN Stats and Information  

BPI seems pretty certain on this one. The Kent State Golden Flashes should be little issue for the No. 3 seed UCLA Bruins.

Joe Lunardi Senior Writer, ESPN.com 

Back in the Stone Age (like 1999), we created Adjusted Scoring Margin as a supplement to RPI. It correctly pegged a number of unexpected NCAA runs over the years -- Florida (2000), Kent State (2002), George Mason (2006) and Butler (2010) -- so just for kicks I looked to see which teams in this year's bracket are significant under- or over-valued (by pre-tourney ASM rank). UNDERVALUED: Wichita State (2), West Virginia (4), Saint Mary's (8), SMU (9), Cincinnati (12), Middle Tennessee (28), Rhode Island (31), Nevada (37). OVERVALUED: Kansas (17), Arizona (19), Minnesota (36), Northwestern (49), Michigan State (57), Maryland (58), Xavier (61), Seton Hall (69). Just remember, don't shoot the messenger!


Rob Senderoff w/ Munch

Kent State head mens basketball coach, Rob Senderoff joins Munch to talk about the Golden Flashes winning the MAC tournament and their upcoming NCAA game.

Stephen R. Sylvanie/USA TODAY Sports
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ESPN Stats and Information  

Kent State's Jimmy Hall has 22 double-doubles, tied for fourth-most in the nation. However, no MAC team has won an NCAA tournament game since Ohio reached the Sweet 16 in 2012. (Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)

ESPN Stats and Information  

MAC tournament champ Kent State gets the No. 14 seed in the South region for its first NCAA tournament appearance since 2008. The Golden Flashes' small-ball approach has them top-five in the nation for offensive rebounding percentage, though they haven't been great from 3-point range (30.6 percent).

ESPN Stats and Information  

The bottom half of the South region features an intrastate matchup between second-seeded Kentucky and No. 15 Northern Kentucky, which is making its first-ever appearance in the Big Dance. UCLA gets the No. 3 seed in the region.

Kent State holds on, takes MAC crown (0:48)
Kelvin Kuo/USA TODAY Sports
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Team Stats

Points Per Game77.0Tied-88th
Rebounds Per Game40.38th
Assists Per Game12.5245th
Points Allowed73.0Tied-201st

Tournament History

Final Fours0
Tournament Record4-5
Championship SeasonsNone
Tournament Appearances5