Kentucky forward Nick Richards (4) shoots over UCLA forward G.G. Goloman (14) in the first half of an NCAA basketball game in New Orleans, Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017.
UCLA returns to Pac-12 play when the Bruins host Washington State on Thursday night. The two coaches, Kentucky's John Calipari and UCLA's Steve Alford have formed a friendship over the years.
The matchup - which features a rematch of the Sweet 16 showdown from a season ago - pits talented freshmen Kevin Knox and Hamidou Diallo with Bruins standouts Kris Wilkes and Jaylen Hands, four projected National Basketball Association players in the not-so-distant future. We've played against each other a bunch now. He missed the free throw, but Gabriel took the rebound. The Wildcats went 6 of 21 from three-point range and were outshot overall, 47.5 percent (29 of 61) to 42.6 percent (29 of 68).
Kentucky hit only two of 10 3s in the first half. Gabriel made consecutive 3-pointers for Kentucky, but Welsh's 3-pointer started a 10-0 run that gave the Bruins a 71-59 lead midway through the half.
But Jaylen Hands' layup and Welsh's 3 ignited what grew into a 21-2 Bruins run, putting UCLA ahead 50-39 early in the second half.
Kentucky didn't go down easily, though. Knox hit two 3-pointers and a soaring baseline dunk during a 13-2 Kentucky spurt that tied it at 52 and spiked the volume of the evidently pro-Kentucky crowd at the CBS Sports Classic.
The Bruins were led by a balanced offensive attack that saw four starters make multiple 3-point baskets.
#5 North Carolina 86, Ohio State 72: Also at the CBS Sports Classic, Joel Berry II and Theo Pinson each scored 19 points, and No. 5 North Carolina bounced back from a loss to Wofford with a convincing 86-72 victory over Ohio State.
Cameron Johnson - a graduate transfer from Pittsburgh whose recent debut was delayed by injuries - scored 13 points in just his second game for North Carolina, which had 13 3-pointers.
#10 W. Virginia 86, Fordham 69: Jevon Carter and Sagaba Konate had double-doubles to lead the host Mountaineers (11-1).
With 10 minutes left, the Bruins led by five as both teams started trading threes, including United Kingdom forward Wenyen Gabriel's two triples during the two-minute exchange.
Welsh's jumper broke the tie and UCLA wouldn't relinquish the lead. Keyshawn Woods scored 18 points for the Demon Deacons (7-5), who had won six straight.
The victory was the seventh in eight games for Seton Hall, which raised its record to 11-2.