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Florida Gators vs. UCLA Bruins - 3/27/14 South Region

UCLA Bruins (28-8) at Florida Gators (34-2)

College Basketball: Thursday, March 27, 2014 at 9:45 pm (FedExForum)

The Line: Florida Gators -5 -- Over/Under: 137 See the Latest Odds

TV: CBS

The UCLA Bruins and Florida Gators will meet Thursday night in a chance to advance to the Elite Eight in the NCAA tournament.

UCLA is a team that’s coming together at the right team and beat up on Tulsa and Stephen F. Austin to advance to the Sweet 16. On the season, UCLA averages 81.5 points on 49.1 percent shooting and allows 70.1 points on 42.5 percent shooting. The Bruins are an offensive juggernaut led by Jordan Adams, who averages 17.4 points on 48.6 percent shooting. UCLA has scored no less than 75 points in six of its last seven games and shoots 74.9 percent from the free throw line. The Bruins are 23-12 ATS overall this season.

Florida Gators vs. UCLA Bruins - 3/27/14 South Region

Florida surpassed Albany and Pittsburgh with ease to get to this spot in the tournament. On the season, the Gators average 70.4 points on 46.2 percent shooting and allow 57.5 points on 39.8 percent shooting. Florida relies heavily on its defense to win games, as Florida has allowed no more than 65 points in its last nine games. Offensively, Florida shoots 66.9 percent from the free throw line and is led by Scottie Wilbekin, who averages 13 points and 3.8 assists. The Florida Gators are 17-14-1 ATS overall this season. 

The Bruins are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games overall and 13-3 ATS in their last 16 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600. The Gators are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS win and 19-8 ATS in their last 27 NCAA Tournament games.

Sure, UCLA is a hot team and is shooting the ball extremely well. But the Bruins have not faced a defense like Florida’s all season. You could make a case for Arizona, a team in which the Bruins split meetings this year, but the Gators ball pressure is a whole different animal.

Every team looks great until it runs into a physical, elite defense.

You’ll see a lot of folks backing UCLA and even giving the Bruins a chance to win SU. I’m not buying it at all.

Give me the Gators and the chalk. 

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Florida Gators -5

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