UCLA takes on a familiar tournament foe in Gonzaga in the Maui Invitational with the winner of the game getting fifth place in this non-conference tournament.
Gonzaga University and UCLA have developed in recent years, a basketball rivalry between the two West Coast schools. Both schools are consistently ranked among the top programs in the country and have met recently in high-stakes games, including the NCAA Tournament.
The Bulldogs and Bruins first played each other on the basketball court in 1999, and Gonzaga emerged victorious with a 59-43 win. Altogether, the two teams have played each other eight times, with Gonzaga holding a 6-2 edge in the all-time series.
One of the most memorable matchups between the two schools came in the 2006 NCAA Tournament we the two teams met in the Sweet Sixteen. Gonzaga entered the game as the top overall seed, while UCLA was a No. 4 seed. The Bulldogs led by as many as 17 points in the first half, but the Bruins stormed back to win by a score of 73-71. The upset victory by the Bruins was one of the most dramatic moments in NCAA Tournament history for UCLA in the past decade.
In recent years, the Gonzaga-UCLA rivalry has continued to be one of the more exciting ones in college basketball. The two teams met in the 2021 NCAA Tournament Final Four, with Gonzaga winning in overtime by a score of 93-90. The following season, the Bruins lost again to the Zags in the Good Sam Empire Classic.
The last time these two schools played one another was in the NCAA Tournament last season where they played one another in the Sweet Sixteen like they did in years past. These two schools played each other in the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Tournament in 2006, 2015, and 2023. Last season, with six seconds left, Julian Strawther of Gonzaga made a deep 3-pointer to give the Bulldogs a 78-76 lead. With 1.4 seconds remaining, UCLA attempted a last-second 3-pointer, after Strawther was able to make only one of his two final throws.
Rating Percentage Index Ranking: 247
College Basketball Power Index Ranking: 72
Pomeroy College Basketball Ranking: 28
(RPI) Ranking: 13
(BPI) Ranking: 14
(KenPom) Ranking: 8
Past Games and Prediction Forecasts
Recent meetings between these two teams: In the last five games Gonzaga and UCLA have faced off against one another, the Zags have won four of those five contests.
The present winning streak in this West Coast rivalry: In this series between these two programs, Gonzaga has won the last three games, giving them a three-game winning streak in this rivalry.
The last game between these two teams: In the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament, the second-seeded UCLA men’s basketball team fell to the third-seeded Gonzaga 79-76.
Game Forcast: The prediction is that UCLA will find a way to slow down the Bulldog’s offense and win by a final score of 71-68.