UCLA Basketball: 3 keys to beat Gonzaga Bulldogs in No. 1 vs 2 matchup

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UCLA Basketball Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Last year’s Final Four matchup between the Bruins and Bulldogs was one for the ages. The instant classic was easily not just the game of the tournament but the game of the year. And now the two square off in Las Vegas with Gonzaga ranked first and UCLA Basketball ranked second in the country.

It’s the first time in the AP poll’s history that the top two teams in the country square off and are from the West. Each team notched a resumé impacting win early in their seasons, with UCLA outlasting Villanova in overtime and the Zags cooking Texas like smoked brisket.

The stars have returned for the sequel, with Gonzaga’s Drew Timme and UCLA’s Johnny Juzang both honored as Preseason All-Americans. And largely the cast is composed of a lot of returning players, with some new faces that will no doubt impact how this story goes. The Bruins will be tested with the continued absence of Codey Riley who is still out with a sprained knee.

Riley’s injury didn’t hinder the Bruins in their win against Villanova and it should not preclude them from a chance to win on Tuesday night. Here are the keys for the Bruins to get revenge and leave Vegas with the biggest win of the early season.

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