Basketball game day links: Let’s dance

Freshman Lonzo Ball leads the nation with 7.7 assists per game as No. 3 UCLA takes on No. 14 Kent State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday in Sacramento. (Mark J. Terrill/The Associated Press)

In front of about one hundred fans at practice on Thursday in Sacramento’s Golden 1 Center, the UCLA men’s basketball team threw down windmill dunks and drained mid-court heaves. Fans roared, the marching band played and cheerleaders danced. It’s March and it’s showtime.

The third-seeded Bruins start their NCAA Tournament run Friday at 6:57 p.m. PT in Sacramento against No. 14 seed Kent State.

During Pac-12 play as the regular season crown passed them by, the Bruins brushed off a chance at conference glory for the national spotlight. On Friday night, they will have the floor, and they hope to hit all the right steps.

“It’s been a fun year to date,” senior Bryce Alford said. “Hopefully we can finish it the way that we started.”

Links for UCLA’s NCAA Tournament opener: