NCAA tournament: No. 2 UCLA faces No. 3 St. Francis

Stephen Dunn

St. Francis and UCLA wil be meeting for the second time this season, but this time around there is much more at stake.

UCLA earned another bid to the NCAA tournament by earning the lone at-large spot, they ended up finishing in third place at the MPSF tournament. St. Francis earned a trip to the NCAA tournament by winning the CWPA a few weeks ago. This St. Franics' second trip to the NCAA tournament in three years, and UCLA is making their second straight NCAA tournament appearance, their 28th overall.

These two teams are both ranked in the top 10 -- UCLA No. 2 and St. Francis No. 9 -- and this will be the first time these two teams played each other since 1998. While UCLA is definitely favored over St. Francis, but they should be albe to provide some stiff competition. St. Francis is peaking at the right time as they have won 11 straight games, but their competition has not been the same as what UCLA has faced.

The leading players for St. Francis are Marko Genčić and Boško Stanković. Genčić leads the team in scoring with 65 goals while Stanković has netted 42 goals.

UCLA is led by Josh Samuels has scored 65 goals this season, and then there is Griffin White who has scored 42 goals this season.

Both teams can put up points, but the level of competition compared to the two gives an edge to UCLA advancing to the title game. St. Francis will want to slow the game down, and make precious and smart decisions, because UCLA does have the better talent. The difference in talent among the starters are not too much of a difference, but the bench play is where UCLA will have the edge. UCLA will be able to sub in a new group of six and not suffer a major setback, and they can just wear down St. Francis.

This game will begin a 6:12 p.m. ET and will be streamed online at NCAA.com

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