SoCal March Madness roundup: UCLA cruises, USC pulls upset, Davis headed home

Kent State forward Jimmy Hall, goes to the basket against UCLA center Thomas Welsh during the first half of a first-round game of the men's NCAA college basketball tournament in Sacramento, Calif., Friday, March 17, 2017. (AP Photo/Bryan Patrick)

Three SoCal teams took part in March Madness on Friday. USC and UC Davis played in their first NCAA Tournament proper games after wins in their play-in contests, while UCLA got it’s charge rolling with a first round match up against Kent State.

UCLA cruises to 97-80 win

Making the short trip up north to Sacramento, the No. 3 seeded Bruins took to the court against No. 14 Kent State. As expected, Lonzo Ball and co. made quick work of the Golden Eagles.

Taking a 47-39 lead into the second half, UCLA rode out the game on cruise control to the tune of a 17-point victory.

The aforementioned Ball finished with 15 points, while fellow freshman TJ Leaf led all scorers with 23 points.

The Bruins advance to take on the No. 6 seeded Cincinnati Bearcats on Sunday.

USC completes the upset 66-65

Down eight points at the half, the USC Trojans kept their hopes alive with a late three-pointer from junior Elijah Stewart.

Facing the No. 6 seeded SMU Mustangs, the Trojans looked outmatched early as they trailed much of the game. However, Stewart’s 22 points dragged his team back into the contest before his three-pointer gave USC a late lead.

The No. 11 seed Trojans narrowly escaped Semi Ojeleye’s double-double of  24 points, 10 rebounds when SMU’s Skae Milton missed a last-second shot.

USC advances to play No. 3 Baylor on Sunday.

UC Davis bows out to No. 1 Kansas

Following their first-ever NCAA tournament game and win against NC Central, the Aggies of UC Davis are headed home.

As a reward for their hard work in the play-in game, the Aggies squared off with No. 1 seeded Kansas on Friday. Sadly, a Cinderella story was not in the cards.

The Aggies hung with Kansas early but the Jayhawks opened up a 22-point lead at the half.

The second half saw more of the same for the Aggies. With the final result in little doubt, the Jayhawks finished off the Aggies to the tune of 100-62.

Kansas advances to take on No. 9 Michigan State while UC Davis heads home with their heads held high following their first March Madness foray.