Busting Brackets

UCLA vs Ohio State: 2020-21 college basketball game preview, TV schedule

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 01: Tyger Campbell, Jalen Hill, Jaime Jaquez Jr., Cody Riley, Chris Smith, and Prince Ali of the UCLA Bruins cheer from on the bench as underclassmen play in the final minutes against the San Jose State Spartansat Pauley Pavilion on December 1, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. UCLA won 93-64. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 01: Tyger Campbell, Jalen Hill, Jaime Jaquez Jr., Cody Riley, Chris Smith, and Prince Ali of the UCLA Bruins cheer from on the bench as underclassmen play in the final minutes against the San Jose State Spartansat Pauley Pavilion on December 1, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. UCLA won 93-64. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images) /

Two 5-1 teams with UCLA and Ohio State will battle it out Saturday in the second matchup of the CBS Sports Classic.

TV Schedule: Saturday, December 19th, 4:15 pm ET, CBS

Arena: Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, Cleveland, OH.

On Saturday afternoon, the UCLA Bruins (5-1) and No. 20 Ohio State Buckeyes (5-1) will face each other in a non-conference matchup on neutral court in the CBS Sports Classic. This matchup will be the second event of a doubleheader on Saturday.

On Wednesday afternoon, the CBS Sports Classic schedule was revised with UCLA and North Carolina to swap matchups.

The updated CBS Sports Classic schedule will have the North Carolina Tar Heels versus the Kentucky Wildcats at 2 pm ET as the first matchup on Saturday of the CBS Sports Classic.

Since the birth of the event in 2014, UCLA currently has a 2-4 record in the CBS Sports Classic, while Ohio State is 3-3.

This will mark the 9th all-time meeting between the two programs. UCLA currently leads the series 6-2, while Ohio State won its last matchup 80-66 over UCLA in the 2018 CBS Sports Classic.

The Bruins will enter Saturday’s matchup fully rested. The last game for UCLA was on Friday, December 11th at home against Marquette. The Bruins won 69-60. Sophomore guard, Jaime Jaquez (14.8 ppg, 6 rpg), led UCLA in scoring with 18 points.

The Bruins were scheduled to face Long Beach State on Tuesday, but the game was postponed for a second time this season due to COVID-19 protocols within the program for Long Beach State.

Ohio State will be on a quicker turnaround period for their game on Saturday. The Buckeyes lost on Wednesday night 67-60 at Purdue. Ohio State struggled shooting, converting on just 37.9 percent of their shots. The Buckeyes missed their leading scorer and rebounder, sophomore forward E.J. Liddell (15.5 ppg, 7.5 rpg), who did not play on Wednesday due to an illness (non-related to COVID-19).

As for UCLA, the Bruins have a deep roster with eight players averaging over 20 minutes per game. UCLA has also been able to share the basketball well this season, with four players who are averaging around nine shooting attempts per game.

Winning the turnover battle will be crucial for both teams on Saturday. During their last game, UCLA turned over the basketball only seven times against Marquette. Sophomore point guard, Tyger Campbell (12.5 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 7.2 apg), has done a fantastic job taking care of the basketball this season with 43 assists to just nine total turnovers.

Similar to UCLA, Ohio State also does not make too many mistakes when it comes to turnovers. The Buckeyes will enter Saturday’s matchup averaging just 9.5 turnovers per game. Ohio State’s primary ball-handler, senior point guard, CJ Walker (12 ppg, 4.5 apg), currently leads the Buckeyes with 27 assists to 13 turnovers.

One key for UCLA will be knocking down three-point shots early and often with their two best perimeter shooters, Jamie Jaquez and senior guard Chris Smith (13.2 ppg, 7 rpg).

Jaquez is off to a great start this season leading the Bruins in scoring while connecting on 45.8 percent of his three-point shots. Smith will be hungry for a bounce-back game, as he missed all eight of his shot attempts against Marquette. Currently, Smith leads UCLA’s perimeter attack shooting 47.1 percent from the outside.

On the defensive side of the basketball, Ohio State has had trouble stopping their opponents from the outside. The Buckeyes allowed UMass-Lowell and Notre Dame to knock down 11 three-point shots each. Ohio State will enter their matchup around 290th nationally in three-point shooting defense, allowing their opponents to make 38.5 percent of their shots from the perimeter.

Ohio State had a difficult time stopping Purdue’s three backcourt starters, allowing Sasha Stefanovic, Eric Hunter Jr., and Brandon Newman each to score in double figures. The Buckeyes defense will face a challenging test on Saturday with UCLA’s backcourt, which includes the Bruins top three scorers, Jaime Jaquez, Chris Smith, and Tyger Campbell.

If the Bruins start to pull away with the lead, it could be a tough task for Ohio State to make a comeback (especially if Liddell is not available). The Buckeyes will enter Saturday’s matchup shooting just 43.2 percent from the floor, which is around 210th nationally.

Junior forward, Justice Sueing (14 ppg, 4.5 rpg), will look to take advantage of his matchup and to attack the basket. Sueing has converted on 59 percent of his two-point shots this season. UCLA’s interior defense has had trouble stopping their opponents, allowing opposing offenses to make 49.8 percent of their two-point shots.

The Buckeyes have been able to put games away this season by making their free throws.

One big key for Ohio State is to get UCLA into foul trouble. The Buckeyes will enter their matchup with the edge at the free-throw line, making 77.7 percent of their free throws as a team.

Ohio State’s two backcourt starters, with junior guard Duane Washington (14.5 ppg) and CJ Walker, lead the Buckeyes in free throws this season, combining for a spectacular 48-for-50 at the free-throw line (96 percent).

After an opening night loss against San Diego State, UCLA is trying to get back into the AP Top 25 Poll and will look to extend their winning streak to six straight on Saturday.

For Ohio State, the Buckeyes have an undersized roster this season, as junior forward, Seth Towns, has still yet to play. Ohio State is desperate and really needs E.J. Liddell to suit up on Saturday if they want a chance to win against UCLA.

Without Liddell, the Buckeyes are averaging just 63.5 points per game during their past two games. With the loss to Purdue on Wednesday, Ohio State will most likely drop out of the AP Top 25 Poll on Monday.

Ohio State has victories against opponents that have a combined record of 10-16 overall this season. Two of those wins were come from behind victories against UMass-Lowell (1-3) and Notre Dame (2-3), along with a six-point win against Cleveland State (0-3).

Next. Latest top-25 power rankings. dark

With one last chance on Saturday to improve their non-conference resume, UCLA and Ohio State will both head into their matchup at 5-1 overall, before starting conference play on Wednesday.

Prediction: UCLA 68, Ohio State 59