Meanwhile, Kent State had sneaked its way back to within eight points of the Bruins at intermission. The Bruins tried only 14 three-pointers. Thomas Welsh was killer with his short and mid-range shots which led to his 16 points. Gary Clark had 15 points and seven rebounds.
BRUINS ASSIST: Unselfish play keys the Bruins' scoring.
UCLA is coming off an 86-75 loss to Arizona in the Pac-12 Tournament, but the Bruins had won 10 straight prior to that The Bruins sit at 29-4 on the season and 16-17 against the spread. That same year, Jordan was dropping 35 points a night in the National Basketball Association en route to his first Most Valuable Player award.
UCLA's Lonzo Ball recorded 10 points and two assists in the half before he hobbled into the locker room after suffering an injury.
"We were a little nervous early, anxious early, and they certainly made it very hard to score early on", Kansas coach Bill Self said.
There is just a 16 percent chance that UCLA is ousted by Kent State in the first round, and by all accounts, the Bruins should be moving on to the second round. The Golden Flashes responded with a 9-2 run to cut the deficit to nine.
The UCLA Bruins and Cincinnati Bearcats meet Sunday in the college basketball NCAA Tournament at the Golden 1 Center. He landed on his side/back and was in pain afterwards. Ball played through a right hip bruise suffered late in the first half and finished with 15 points on 6-for-7 shooting and four rebounds.
"He just does a great job of taking care of the ball, [playing] with great pace", Cronin said.
"I thought Troy played his best game of the year", Cronin said.
I am betting Ike plays in tomorrow's game against Cincinnati.
Ball was driving for a layup and took a hit that sent him off balance and to the floor.
"I have an terrible lot of respect for Mick", said UCLA head coach Steve Alford.
On a day of upsets in the NCAA Tournament - namely over No. 6 seeds - Kent State was hoping to pull off the biggest one of the tournament.
Barkley: Kenny, he averaged two more points than a dead man. He really only forced up one shot that we saw, and otherwise was finding the open guy and showing the willing passing ability that has made him so good at times this year.
Cronin said in a press conference Tuesday that he would like to have a player, senior guard Troy Caupain specifically, get on fire during the tournament.