No. 11 UCLA 20-13 vs. No. 6 Southern Methodist 27-6
Thursday at KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Ky.
How they got here: UCLA squeaked in with the fifth-to-last at-large bid after finishing fourth in the Pac-12 Conference regular season and losing a close game to Arizona in a conference tournament semifinal. SMU won the American Athletic Conference regular season and conference tournament.
Last 10 games: UCLA 6-4; SMU 9-1.
Record vs. NCAA tournament teams: UCLA 4-8; SMU 3-5.
Best wins/worst losses: UCLA defeated Utah, 69-59, and Oregon, 72-63, both at home. The Bruins lost, 83-44, to Kentucky in December, and also lost, 56-50, at Alabama, 62-56 at Colorado and 68-66 at Arizona State. Judging by the Ranking Percentage Index, SMU's best wins were over Tulsa, twice, and Temple, three times. The only non-NCAA tournament team SMU lost to was Connecticut.
Common opponent: Gonzaga. UCLA lost, 87-74; SMU lost, 72-56.
UCLA lineup: Starters — G Bryce Alford (15.1 ppg, 5.0 apg), G Isaac Hamilton (10.7 ppg, 3.4 rpg), Norman Powell (16.4 ppg, 4.7 rpg), F Kevon Looney (11.8 ppg, 9.2 rpg), F Tony Parker (11.1 ppg, 6.6 rpg). Top reserves — G Noah Allen (1.5 ppg, 1.9 rpg), F Thomas Welsh (3.9 ppg, 3.7 rpg), F Gyorgy Goloman (1.4 ppg, 1.5 rpg).
SMU lineup: Starters — G Nic Moore (14.3 ppg, 5.3 apg), G Sterling Brown (5.3 ppg, 4.4 rpg), G Ryan Manuel (6.7 ppg, 3.3 rpg), F Cannen Cunningham (6.4 ppg, 3.6 rpg), C Yanick Moreira (11.3 ppg, 6.4 rpg). Top reserves — G Ben Emelogu (2.8 ppg, 1.8 rpg), F Markus Kennedy (11.6 ppg, 6.4 rpg), F Ben Moore (7.2 ppg, 4.8 rpg).
It's a fact: These teams have played only twice — UCLA won both games — but they share a common coach. Current SMU Coach Larry Brown was the coach at UCLA from 1979 until 1981, when he left to coach the NBA's New Jersey Nets. Brown led UCLA to the national championship game in 1980, when it lost to Louisville. UCLA was forced to vacate the appearance when the NCAA ruled two players ineligible because they received impermissible benefits.