The UCLA Bruins will host the Utah Utes on New Year's Eve in a PAC-12 showdown. This will be the Bruins' first matchup in eleven days after they had to postpone their game against the Oregon Ducks due to COVID-19 related issues.
Fixture: Utah Utes vs UCLA Bruins - NCAA Men's Basketball
Date & Time: Thursday, December 31st, 2020, 7 PM ET
Venue: Pauley Pavilion, Los Angeles, California
UCLA Bruins Preview
The UCLA Bruins are coming off a loss to the Ohio State Buckeyes, 70-77. This was the first ranked team the Bruins had played all season.
Prior to the loss, UCLA was on a five-game win streak and outscored their opponents by a total of 101 points.
The UCLA Bruins will look to bounce with a victory over the Utah Utes in their first PAC-12 game of the year. For the Bruins to successfully get back on a winning streak, they will need to shoot the ball better than they did against Ohio State, where they went 40 percent from the field.
Key Player - Chris Smith
Chris Smith will be the key player for the UCLA Bruins as they prepare to go against the Utah Utes. Smith is one of the four guards in the Bruins' starting lineup and the senior guard is averaging 12.1 points and 6.7 rebounds on the year. His rebounding will be a difference-maker against the bigger Utes side.
UCLA Bruins Predicted Lineup
F Cody Riley, G Chris Smith, G Tyger Campbell, G Jaime Jaquez Jr., G Johnny Juzang
Utah Utes Preview
The Utah Utes will be looking to make some noise in the PAC-12 this weekend during their trip to Los Angeles as they will face the UCLA Bruins on Thursday and USC on Saturday.
In the four wins the Utes have collected this season, they only allowed 57.3 points per game.
If Utah wants to become legitimate PAC-12 contenders, they will need to remain disciplined on defense to shut down the UCLA Bruins' quick guards.
Key Player - Branden Carlson
Branden Carlson is the key player for the Utah Utes. His seven-foot frame will give him a height advantage in the paint against the UCLA Bruins' four-guard system. The sophomore center will need to be aggressive on offense and score more than his season average of 8.8 points to push the Utes to 2-0 in the PAC-12.
Utah Utes Predicted Lineup
F Timmy Allen, F Riley Battin, C Branden Carlson, G Rylan Jones, G Alfonso Plummer
Utah vs UCLA Prediction
The UCLA Bruins will bounce back and earn a victory over their Pac-12 rival, the Utah Utes, on New Year's Eve. The Bruins will be able to space the floor and get open looks against the Utes.
Where to watch Utah vs UCLA
The game will be broadcasted live on Fox Sports 1.Published 30 Dec 2020, 09:59 IST