UCLA faces a familiar tournament foe, Gonzaga, in the Maui Invitational, with the winner of the game securing the fifth seed in this non-conference tournament.
Gonzaga University and UCLA have developed a basketball rivalry in recent years between the two West Coast schools. Both schools are consistently ranked among the top programs in the country and have recently met in high-stakes games, including the NCAA Tournament.
The Bulldogs and Bruins first faced each other on the basketball court in 1999, and Gonzaga emerged victorious with a 59-43 victory. In total, the two teams have faced each other eight times, with Gonzaga holding a 6-2 lead in the all-time series.
One of the most memorable matchups between the two schools took place during the 2006 NCAA Tournament, when the two teams met in the Sweet Sixteen. Gonzaga entered the game as the number one seed, while UCLA was the No. 4 seed. The Bulldogs led by 17 points in the first half, but the Bruins came back strong to win by one score from 73-71. The Bruins’ upset victory was one of the most dramatic moments in NCAA Tournament history for UCLA over the past decade.
In recent years, the Gonzaga-UCLA rivalry has remained one of the most exciting in college basketball. The two teams met in the Final Four of the 2021 NCAA tournament, with Gonzaga winning in overtime by a score of 93-90. The following season, the Bruins lost again to the Zags in the Good Sam Empire Classic.
The last time these two schools faced each other was in last season’s NCAA tournament, where they faced off in the Sweet Sixteen as they have in previous years. These two schools have faced off in the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA tournament in 2006, 2015 and 2023. Last season, with six seconds remaining, Gonzaga’s Julian Strawther hit a deep 3-pointer to give the Bulldogs a 78-point lead. 76. With 1.4 seconds left, UCLA attempted a last-second 3-pointer after Strawther was only able to make one of his final two shots.
UCLA Bruins basketball
Gonzaga Bulldogs basketball
Wednesday November 22
11:59 p.m. ET
Percentage Index Ranking: 247
College Basketball Power Index Rankings:72
Pomeroy College Basketball Rankings: 28
(RPI) Ranking: 13
(BPI) Ranking: 14
(KenPom) Ranking: 8
Past games and predictions
Recent meetings between these two teams: In the last five games Gonzaga and UCLA have faced off, the Zags have won four of those five contests.
The current winning streak in this West Coast rivalry: In this series between these two programs, Gonzaga has won the last three games, giving them a three-game winning streak in this rivalry.
The last match between these two teams: In the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament, the second-seeded UCLA men’s basketball team fell to third-seeded Gonzaga, 79-76.
Game Prediction: The prediction is that UCLA will find a way to slow down the Bulldog offense and win by a final score of 71-68.