UCLA vs. Gonzaga, NCAA Tournament Sweet 16: How to watch, odds, predictions

Dylan Andres, Jaime Jaquez Jr., Tyger Campbell, UCLA Bruins, NCAA Tournament, March Madness (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Dylan Andres, Jaime Jaquez Jr., Tyger Campbell, UCLA Bruins, NCAA Tournament, March Madness (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

The NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 is scheduled to get underway on Thursday night, with a matchup between the UCLA Bruins and the Gonzaga Bulldogs set to wrap things up.

Day one of two of the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 is scheduled for Thursday evening, and the fourth and final game of the night features a 2021 Final Four rematch between the No. 2 seed UCLA Bruins (31-5) and the No. 3 seed Gonzaga Bulldogs (30-5), with a spot in the Elite 8 on the line in the West region.

Both teams were supposed to get here when the bracket was released, and unlike other favorites so far this tournament, both took care of business in the round of 64 and the round of 32.

UCLA knocked off No. 15 seed UNC Asheville and No. 7 seed Northwestern, while Gonzaga knocked off No. 14 seed Grand Canyon and No. 6 seed TCU.

Both UCLA and Gonzaga have become Sweet 16 regulars, with UCLA in it for the third straight year and Gonzaga in it for the eighth straight tournament. But neither team has been to the Elite 8 since 2021, when they went on to meet in an all-time classic overtime Final Four matchup.

How to watch UCLA vs. Gonzaga in the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16

As was the case in the first two rounds, all NCAA Tournament games continue to be broadcast live on either CBS, TNT, TBS, or TruTV.

Both West regional semifinals, plus Saturday’s final, are set to take place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Date: Thursday, March 23
Time: 9:45 pm ET
Channel: CBS
StreamingNCAA March Madness Live
Announcers: Kevin Harlan, Dan Bonner, Stan Van Gundy, Lauren Shehadi

UCLA vs. Gonzaga NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 odds

According to the odds posted on FanDuel Sportsbook, the Bruins are slight 1.5-point favorites, with an over/under in the game of 145.5. The Bruins own a significantly better record against the spread this year, coming in at 21-13-2, compared to the Bulldogs’ mark of 13-20-1.

Moneyline on the Bruins is currently set at -120 (bet $120 to win $100), while it is set at +100 (bet $100 to win $100) on the Bulldogs. It is about as close to being a tossup as you can get.

UCLA vs. Gonzaga NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 prediction

On paper, this matchup is the best matchup in the Sweet 16, and the winner will likely be favored to win their Elite 8 matchup against the No. 8 seed Arkansas Razorbacks or the No. 4 Connecticut Huskies to get back to the Final Four in Houston, Texas.

The big question mark about UCLA seems to be how the team will perform in light of recent injuries. Jaylen Clark is out for sure, and both Adem Bona and David Singleton remain questionable.

But UCLA has been able to weather the storm thus far, and both teams faced tough tests in the round of 32.

Much of the talk surrounding Mark Few’s team stems from the idea that there is less pressure this year since they aren’t undefeated, they aren’t going for some kind of record, they aren’t the No. 1 overall seed (for the first time since 2019), and they aren’t a No. 1 seed at all (for the first time since 2018).

While they do still have Drew Timme, couldn’t that all mean that this Gonzaga team might just not be as good as we’ve seen in past years?

On the flip side, Mick Cronin’s unit earned the school their top tournament seed since 2008, when they made it to the Final Four, and they will be seeking a sweet — no pun intended — dose of revenge after 2021’s heartbreak.

Like the 2021 matchup, this one probably won’t be decided until the closing seconds.

Prediction: UCLA 78, Gonzaga 75

Next. 5 Teams Under Pressure to Make the Final Four. dark