"We really weren't expecting that as we're watching the show", coach Steve Alford said.
The First Four has been held annually in connection with the expansion of the tournament field from 65. The victor of this third meeting will face No. 6-seed Florida, an opponent UCLA hasn't beaten in four meetings. The Bonnies are one of the hottest teams in the country - they've won 13 of their past 14 games, and have a slew of impressive wins this season, including over Rhode Island, Davidson, Maryland, Vermont and at Syracuse - and even have familiarity playing at UD Arena in Dayton, Ohio, in conference play. The Bruins took Arizona to overtime in the semifinals of the Pac-12 Tournament, only to get outscored 11-0 by the Wildcats in the extra period. The Bruins and Bonnies are the late game Tuesday in Dayton.
The UCLA men's basketball team has earned a No. 11 seed in the 68-team NCAA Tournament field, as announced Sunday afternoon. The college basketball odds for the game have the Bruins favored to pick up the win. St. Bonaventure also has a long tournament drought, failing to win since 1970.
St. Bonaventure University was founded in 1858 as the nation's first Franciscan university. Holiday will play every second of this game and stands to make the greatest impact for either side. Combined with Holiday and Goloman, the Bruins shouldn't be overwhelmed by the moment, even if they had to fly to southwestern OH to face an unfamiliar opponent in an unfamiliar arena. St. Bonaventure is driven by the guard play of seniors Adams (19.8 points per game) and Matt Mobley (18.5).
FAMILIAR ARENA PART 2: LIU Brooklyn coach Derek Kellogg was sacked by MA last season after losing to St. Bonaventure in the A-10 tournament. He was one of the top scorers in the Atlantic Ten with almost 20 points per game.
The Bruins participation in the tournament means their players will miss at least three days of classes in the final week of instruction in the winter quarter. After finishing sixth in the Big South last season, Radford was picked in preseason polls to finish near the bottom of the conference again.