South – No. 4 UCLA vs. No. 13 Tulsa
Posted Mar 16, 2014

2014 NCAA Tournament Preview, Breakdown & Pick: South Region – No. 4 UCLA vs. No. 13 Tulsa

Line: UCLA -9
Why To Pick UCLA: The defense should be able to clamp down on a Tulsa team that doesn't move the ball well enough. The Bruins can bomb away from three, the Golden Hurricane can't, and that could be the difference early on. Can the Bruins bomb their way out of the gate to put the game away early? It's possible. Tulsa might play decent defense, but the O won't keep up the pace.
Why To Pick Tulsa: Danny Manning's team isn't all that good on the inside, but it has the backcourt to hold up against the UCLA pressure. Careful with the ball, they don't make a slew of big mistakes and won't let the Bruins do much in transition. Strangely inconsistent late in the year, could UCLA be caught looking ahead?
The Pick: UCLA 84-73. It'll be a good back-and-forth game for a while, but the Bruins will pull away late. They have way too much firepower.

UCLA Bruins
Head coach: Steve Alford Record: 26-8 Conference: Pac-12

What You Need To Know: The Bruins boast one of the best offenses in the country with the versatility to put up big numbers in bunches. They can play a number of different styles and tempos, and they're efficient with the basketball. UCLA's quick hands create a lot of turnovers, and that helps lead to transition opportunities and easy baskets. With great perimeter shooting, they set up their drives to the basket, and Jordan Adams and Kyle Anderson are both fantastic at breaking down opponents off the dribble and getting to the rim. Adams is more explosive in the open floor and a more disruptive defender, but Anderson is fearless and has great vision – he's a threat to post a triple-double whenever he hits the court. Norman Powell, Bryce Alford and Zach LaVine provide quality depth, and the bench goes eight deep to keep fresh players on the court.
Strengths: Three Point Shooting, Free Throw Shooting, Turnover Margin
Weaknesses: Scoring Defense, Blocked Shots, Rebounding
How Far Will They Go?: They could be just the team to beat Florida to get to the Elite Eight. They'll get by Tulsa without a problem, and they'll get into an up-and-down war with VCU, but it'll be the Florida game that will be epic. It'll be a great fight, but they'll come up just short.

Tulsa Golden Hurricane
Head coach: Danny Manning Record: 21-12 Conference: Conference USA

What You Need To Know: The Golden Hurricane head into the NCAA Tournament on a roll, winners of 11 straight. They can play multiple styles and are tough when they turn up the defense, but they aren't explosive offensively. Depth is a positive as head coach Danny Manning -- yep, THAT Danny Manning -- goes nine deep, relying on guards James Woodard and Rashad Smith to get to the rim and draw fouls. Their quickness allows them to break down opponents off the dribble. Tulsa doesn't boast great size inside, but the team plays solid, fundamental defense that allows all five players to control the glass. Guard Shaquille Harrison provides a quality passer who thrives in transition.
Strengths: Field Goal Percentage Defense, Turnover Margin, Scoring
Weaknesses: Rebounding, Three Point Shooting, Free Throw Shooting
How Far Will They Go?: Danny and the Miracles? Nope. The Golden Hurricane will show up against UCLA, but they won't have enough offense to advance.