It doesn’t get much better this.
Tonight, the #2 UCLA Bruins will face the #1 Gonzaga Bulldogs in a rematch of the 2020-21 National Semifinal game which went into overtime. It was a thrilling game, even though the Bruins fell, 93-90.
Now, these teams are at the top of the AP men’s basketball poll and tonight promises to be another great game.
Of course, that is if the Bruins don’t play like they did last night against Bellarmine.
The good news for UCLA is that the Zags lost three of their five starters from last season while the Bruins have returned all of theirs.
Drew Timme, who led Gonzaga in scoring last year, is one of the two returning starters for head coach Mark Few. So far this season, Timme is averaging 18.8 points per game, which is amazingly close to the 19.0 ppg he averaged last season.
The other returning starter is guard Andrew Nembhard. While he averaged 9.1 points per game and he led the team in assists last season, this year he is averaging 7.0 ppg and 4.8 assists per game.
So, who have replaced Corey Kispert, Jalen Suggs and Joel Ayayi?
Sophomore guard Julian Strawther is second on the team in scoring with an average of 14.8 points per game. His shooting percentage is an unbelievable 59.1% and his three-point percentage is also off the charts at 52.2%. Senior guard Rasir Bolton has transferred to Gonzaga after playing the past two seasons at Iowa State. Bolton is shooting 52.9% while averaging 10.4 ppg. Freshman center Chet Holmgren is third on the team in scoring with an average of 12.8 ppg and he leads the team with a 70.1% shooting percentage.
Look for freshman guard Nolan Hickman to be one of the first guys off the bench for Gonzaga. He’s the only non-starter averaging more than 20 minutes per game. Of course, his 59.4% shooting percentage probably has something to do with that.
The Bruins come into tonight’s game as a 5.5 point underdog. Last night’s game probably did little to change help UCLA’s cause in that regard even though the game against Bellarmine wasn’t televised.
But Jalen Suggs is off to the NBA and I fully expect that Mick Cronin will have the team ready for tonight’s game.
Of course, payback is a bitch and UCLA is due to give Gonzaga a little payback tonight.
I don’t know how tonight’s game is going to end, but I think we all want to see a little payback. Ultimately, though, I think the fact that the Bruins have the entire team back from last season’s amazing Final Four run works in UCLA’s favor and the Bruins win tonight’s battle, and it will definitely be a battle.
TuneIn.com now has UCLA’s games listed as “premium” content. So, rather than using TuneIn, you can just listen through the official website like we have done with the small sports for a long time in order to listen to Josh Lewin and Tracy Murray call tonight’s game instead of Dave O’Brien, Dick Vitale, and Sean Farnham. If you prefer UCLA’s radio team, be sure to right-click on it so that you can open up another tab and have it going while you chat in the comments below. Listen to today’s game online.
In the meantime, here’s how to watch today’s game:This is your #1 Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. UCLA Bruins game thread.
Opponent: #1 Gonzaga Bulldogs (5-0)
Series Record: UCLA trails, 2-4
When: 7:00 pm PT, Tuesday, November 23, 2021
Where: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, NV
TV: ESPN with Dave O’Brien, Dick Vitale, and Sean Farnham
Live Stream: WatchESPN.com and the ESPN app
Radio:AM 1150 in Los Angeles with Josh Lewin and Tracy Murray
Live Stats: UCLA StatBroadcast
Thanks again for supporting The Mighty Bruin. Your paid subscriptions make this site possible. Questions, comments, story ideas, angry missives and more can be sent to to @TheMightyBruin on Twitter.
0 subscriptions will be displayed on your profile (edit)
Skip for now
For your security, we need to re-authenticate you.
Click the link we sent to , or click here to sign in.