The Ucla Bruins have defeated the Kent State Golden Flashes without much drama on Friday in Sacramento. The Bruins, who were huge favorites to win the match, ended beating the Golden Flashes 97-80. UCLA took a nine-point lead at the half-time and never looked back, finishing the game with a 17-point win. The team recovered from its loss in the Pac-12 Tournament semi-finals against the Arizona Wildcats last week and seemed to be ready for the biggest stage.

TJ Leaf comes up huge

UCLA Bruins forward Tj Leaf had a great performance against the Kent State Golden Flashes.

The freshman led the way for his team, scoring 23 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the field. He as well had six rebounds in 26 minutes of action.

Except for Lead, three other Bruin starters ended the game in double-digit scoring. Thomas Welsh and Lonzo Ball had an efficient night -- Welsh scored 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the field -- Ball, who put down in the basket six of seven shots from the field, notched 15 points on the game. Starting guard, Isaac Hamilton collected 14 points against Kent State, while Aaron Holiday added 15 points off the bench.

It ended just fine for UCLA

As already mentioned, the UCLA Bruins were huge favorites to finish on the winning side against the Kent State Golden Flashes.

The Bruins have been one of the best teams in the nation the whole regular season, but now the time has come for the biggest stage. Kent State had nothing to lose on Friday and UCLA was coming off a loss to the Arizona Wildcats in the Pac-12 Tournament. It was important for the Bruins to start this tournament the way they did, without much drama and with a 17-point win over their first-round opponents.

What's next for the Bruins?

The UCLA Bruins will next face the Cincinnati Bearcats in the South Region second-round. The two sides haven't met before this season, and their match upcoming game will be their first and last of this year's NCAA season. The Bearcats reached the second round after defeating the Kansas State Wildcats 75-61. The Bruins should be favorites to impose over Cincinnati and reach the Sweet 16.