LAS VEGAS — It may be the best matchup of the NCAA Tournament so far. No. 2 UCLA faces No. 3 Gonzaga in the Sweet 16 on Thursday night.
It's a matchup of two West Coast powerhouses, who likely feel they haven't received the respect they deserved this season. Both teams have veteran leaders on the floor, and both feel like they have a legitimate shot at an NCAA Championship.
For Gonzaga (30-5), this is their 8th straight trip to the Sweet 16. The Zags beat TCU 84-81 in the Second Round on Sunday night. Drew Timme led the way for Gonzaga with 28 points and eight rebounds, helping the team come from behind to get the win.
UCLA (31-5) fought off a comeback attempt from Northwestern in the Second Round to win 68-63, and advance to the Sweet 16.
There is a lot of history between these two programs in the NCAA Tournament and there will be a lot of emotion as it could be the final game for several seniors on each team.
Game time, channel, and how to watch
For those of you wondering what channel the Gonzaga-UCLA game is on, here are the details.
The No. 3 Gonzaga vs No. 2 UCLA NCAA Tournament basketball game starts at 6:45 p.m. pacific time on Thursday, March 23. The Sweet 16 game will be played at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
The game will air nationally on CBS, including KREM 2 in the Spokane market. Streaming of all games is also available through NCAA.com, but a cable subscription may be required.
Bulldogs vs Bruins
There are several storylines to watch in this game and the history between these two teams.
Gonzaga and UCLA each have several seniors who are fighting to extend their college careers.
Bulldogs forward Drew Timme confirmed he would not be returning to the Zags next year. "I've done my four years. I've had a hell of a time. It's been the best time of my life," Timme said. "It's just time for me to move on you know?"
Other seniors on Gonzaga include forward Anton Watson and guards Rasir Bolton and Malachi Smith. There's also some question of whether junior guard Julian Strawther could enter the NBA Draft.
Meantime, UCLA has been built around the senior trio of guard Tyger Campbell, forward Jaime Jaquez Jr., and guard David Singleton.
And then there is the NCAA Tournament history between these two teams.
They last met in 2021 in the Final Four. The game was an overtime thriller won on Jalen Suggs' miracle buzzer-beater. Suggs banked in a shot from near midcourt at the buzzer, giving the Zags a 93-90 overtime victory against the Bruins and sending Gonzaga to the National Championship Game.
This year's game also happens to fall on the 17th anniversary of another classic game between UCLA and Gonzaga. The 'Heartbreak City' game in 2006 ended with UCLA scoring the final 11 points in the game to win 73-71.
The lasting image from that game is Adam Morrison sitting on the court in tears as the Bulldogs' run came to an end.
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