Preview: Utah at UCLA
UCLA is in second place in the Pac-12 and is hoping to hold onto that spot when it vies for a third straight win on Saturday against visiting Utah. The Bruins knocked off Colorado on Thursday and have taken five of six since falling at the Utes on Jan. 18. Utah began its two-game Southern California road trip with a win at USC on Thursday and can crawl above .500 in the Pac-12 by sweeping the season series from UCLA.
The Bruins dominated the second half in the 92-74 win over the Buffaloes and are one of the few teams putting up more points than Utah with an average of 83.3. The Utes just about hit their 79.3 average in the 79-71 win over USC on Thursday and more importantly proved they could win on the road after dropping their first five Pac-12 games away from home. Utahâs ability to win on the road will go a long way toward determining its NCAA Tournament bubble fate, and the Utes will play three more away from home before the start of the Pac-12 tournament.
Fox Sports 1
ABOUT UTAH (17-7, 6-6 Pac-12): The Utes are one of the reasons the Bruins remain on the outside of the top-25 thanks to the 74-69 win over UCLA. Jordan Loveridge led the way with 17 points and nine rebounds in that one. Loveridge had a rough stretch during a three-game losing streak on the road but picked his play up again with a combined 11-of-13 effort from the field in back-to-back home wins over Washington and Washington State before knocking down 5-of-13 - including 4-of-7 from 3-point range - at Southern California on Thursday.
ABOUT UCLA (19-5, 8-3): Anderson put up 28 points, seven rebounds and seven assists at Utah but turned the ball over with 11 seconds left to help doom the Bruins. The star swingman had no such issues against Colorado with 22 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds and had eight points in the final 6:07 as the Bruins turned a five-point game into a blowout down the stretch. UCLA is 5-1 at home in conference play but will play four of its last six on the road after the meeting with Utah.
1. Anderson went 2-for-2 from 3-point range on Thursday and is shooting 52.4 percent from beyond the arc.
2. Utah G Delon Wright reached 20 points for the sixth time this season on Thursday and is averaging 17.8 points over the last six contests.
3. The Bruins are averaging 88 points in six conference home games.
PREDICTION: UCLA 82, Utah 76