Gonzaga vs UCLA Basketball Live Stream

The top two men’s basketball teams in the country, No. 1 Gonzaga and No. 2 UCLA, will meet next Tuesday, Nov. 23, in the Empire Classic in Las Vegas. The timing of this game is significant, not only because of the teams’ current rankings in the AP poll, but because they met in the Final Four last season in a game that became an instant classic.

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No. 1 seed Gonzaga advanced to the Final Four with an undefeated record and in pursuit of its first-ever national championship. Meanwhile, UCLA, which has won more national titles than any other program in men’s basketball history, became just the second No. 11 seed to make a run from the First Four to the Final Four, as the Bruins chased an unlikely 12th national championship.

The game went to overtime and Gonzaga guard Jalen Suggs gave Gonzaga an epic 93-90 victory in overtime thanks to his heroic buzzer-beater.

The clash will be the 43rd meeting between the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the AP poll. Guess what? The all-time series between top-ranked teams versus second-ranked teams is tied 21-21. On average, a No. 1 versus No. 2 matchup occurs roughly once every two seasons, although there have been as many as four such matchups in a single season (1974 and 1985).

The last No. 1 versus No. 2 matchup came on the opening night of the 2019-20 season, when preseason No. 1 Michigan State faced No. 2 Kentucky in the Champions Classic. Kentucky won 69-62, behind 26 points off the bench from freshman guard Tyrese Maxey.

UCLA returned all five starters from its NCAA tournament run, while adding Rutgers transfer Myles Johnson and talented freshman Peyton Watson. Led by All-America candidate Johnny Juzang (23.0 points and 5.3 rebounds per game through three games), UCLA is led by a talented group of guards and wings.

Even though Gonzaga lost three of its top four scorers from last season, including Suggs, the Bulldogs arguably have the preseason favorite for national player of the year in Drew Timme, who led the team in scoring last season and who scored a career-high 38 points against Texas. They also enrolled arguably the most talented freshman in the country in 7-footer Chet Holmgren.

Through Nov. 15, Gonzaga’s offense is the most efficient in the country, per kenpom.com, while UCLA ranks sixth.

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