St. Bonaventure men's basketball is in the NCAA Tournament for the first since 2012, but the Bonnies will have to best one of the most historic programs in NCAA Division I basketball if they want to get out of the First Four in Dayton and into the first round.
Bona faces UCLA on Tuesday at approximately 9:10 p.m. The game will be shown on TruTV.
Here are five things to know about the Bonnies First Four foe, the UCLA Bruins (21-11):
1. UCLA's point guard is among the best
Aaron Holiday is a third-team All-American and one of the best scorers in the country. He led the Pac-12 with 20.3 points per game and has been especially hot lately. He scored 34 points in two of his last three games. The 6-1 junior is also a strong distributor, ranking second in the conference with 5.8 assists per game.
The Bonnies won't get many breaks from Holiday, if any at all. He's played every minute of five of UCLA's last six games, including an overtime loss to Arizona in the Pac-12 semifinals. He sat for a minute in his only noncomplete game.
2. Bruins boast a potent offense
UCLA averages 81.9 points per game, good for second in the Pac-12 and 28th in the country in scoring offense. Four Bruins average in double digits: Holiday (20.3), Kris Wilkes (13.8), Thomas Welsh (13) and Jaylen Hands (10.1).
St. Bonaventure will need to keep close to UCLA outside the arc, as UCLA leads the Pac-12 in 3-point percentage (38.3). Holiday, Gyorgy Goloman and Welsh are all shooting better than 40 percent from long range.
UCLA finished with an RPI of 36, which helped the Bruins make the field. Among their key wins are road wins against Arizona and USC and a victory against Kentucky on a neutral court.
3. Welsh is a monster on the boards
The Redondo Beach, Calif., native is averaging 10.7 rebounds per game, slotting him 10th in the nation, and has grabbed 17 boards twice this season. He's one of five players in UCLA history to surpass 1,000 career rebounds and is two boards away from passing David Greenwood for third in the school record books. Barring a surprisingly quiet day against the Bonnies, he'll depart only trailing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Walton.
4. All-time series
St. Bonaventure is 0-2 all-time against UCLA, last facing the Bruins during UCLA's run to a 10th national championship in 1975. The Bonnies are 5-5 all-time against Pac-12 opponents.
5. UCLA is no stranger to the big dance
With this year's selection, the Bruins have made the NCAA Tournament in four of coach Steve Alford's five years at the helm. The team made a run to the Sweet 16 last year, but this year's squad is strikingly different. Two of the Bruins top three scorers were taken in the NBA Draft – Lonzo Ball and T.J. Leaf – while the third, Bryce Alford, graduated.
UCLA is making its 11th appearance in 14 years and is in the field for the 49th time in school history with 11 national championships.