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UCF Men’s Hoops: Wooden Legacy Tournament Preview

UCF Men’s Basketball takes on Penn on Thanksgiving Day.

NCAA Basketball: Central Florida at Wichita State Kelly Ross-USA TODAY Sports Images

The Teams

  • Arizona (6-0, #17 RPI)
  • Charleston (3-2, #116 RPI)
  • Long Beach State (1-4, #131 RPI)
  • Penn (3-2, #21 RPI)
  • Pepperdine (3-3, #140 RPI)
  • Providence (4-2, #238 RPI)
  • UCF (3-1, #119 RPI)
  • Wake Forest (3-2, #149 RPI)

The Bracket

Thursday, November 28

  • Game 1 – Providence vs. Long Beach State, 11 a.m., ESPNU
  • Game 2 – Wake Forest vs. Charleston, 1:30 p.m. ESPNews
  • Game 3 – UCF vs. Penn, 5:30 p.m., ESPNU
  • Game 4 – Pepperdine vs. Arizona, 8 p.m., ESPN2

Friday, November 29

  • Game 5 – Providence/Long Beach State winner vs. Wake Forest/Charleston winner, 11 a.m., ESPN2/ESPNews
  • Game 6 – Providence/Long Beach State loser vs. Wake Forces/Charleston loser, 1 or 1:30 p.m., ESPN2/ESPNU
  • Game 7 – UCF/Penn loser vs. Pepperdine/Arizona loser, 6 p.m., ESPNews
  • Game 8 – UCF/Penn winner vs. Pepperdine/Arizona winner, 8:30 p.m., ESPN2

Sunday, December 1

  • Game 9 – Game 6 and Game 7 winners, 10:30 a.m., 12:30 or 1 p.m., ESPN2/ESPNews
  • Game 10 – Game 5 and Game 8 losers, 10:30 a.m., 12:30 or 1 p.m., ESPN2/ESPNews
  • Game 11 – Game 6 and Game 7 losers, 3:30 p.m., ESPN2/ESPNU
  • Game 12, Championship – Game 5 and Game 8 winners, 6 p.m., ESPN

The Outlook

The clear favorite to win this tournament is Arizona as they’re undoubtably the best team out of the six. UCF is unfortunately on the wrong side of the bracket as they would play Arizona in round two if Arizona and UCF both won in round one. The Knights need to get past Penn first if they’re going to have their shot at an upset.

UCF is a three point underdog in their first round matchup with the Quakers. At the same time, ESPN’s matchup predictor gives the Knights a 57.2% chance of winning. Both of these teams are within half a percent of each other in terms of field goal percentage, free throw percentage and three point percentage. Oddshark’s predicted score is 74.0-71.7 with UCF winning and covering the spread. Can the Knights improve to 4-1 on Thanksgiving Day?