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.