Montana at UCLA -12.5
I've had a chance to watch UCLA play some over the last few weeks. The Bruins aren't there just yet but I peg them as a team that will continue to get better. And the better is going to come on the defensive end. Much has been made of UCLA's defensive decline and rightfully so as this team has really struggled to defend one-on-one over the past few years. I can see they are much more capable than a year ago but the stats don't necessary show it, especially considering they just got finished playing three of the better offenses in the country in Villanova, Kansas and VCU. All three of those games were also losses so I firmly expected the Bruins to be hungry for a win tonight against Montana. The Grizzlies are on a short turnaround after a tough home loss to Portland on Friday. It was poor shooting (8-of-20 40% FTs, 4-of-18 22% 3-point) that once again cost Montana a victory. Last season, the Grizzlies ranked 31st in two-point (51.9%) and 15th in three-point (39.3%) field goal percentage. They also shot better than 71% from the charity stripe. This year, after the loss of do-everything guard Anthony Johnson, the Grizz are really struggling on offense. Effective FG% is below national average (45.7%), three-point shooting as been brutal (25%) and so has their free throw shooting (62.9%). I think they are walking into a fairly difficult spot of having to play an improving team that is eager to dominate someone. I'm comfortable laying the double-digits with UCLA tonight.