A pair of blue blood programs trying to find their footing battle in the CBS Sports Classic on Saturday as UCLA and Ohio State tangle in a marquee nonconference battle in Atlanta. Both schools are looking to rebound from losses in their last games and gain momentum as the heart of conference play looms ahead.

The Bruins blew a halftime lead at Villanova last Saturday, faltering 65-56 as they let the Wildcats get hot from 3-point range in the second half. Ohio State blew an 18-point second half lead at Penn State and fell 83-80 in overtime last Saturday to begin Big Ten play.

Both teams have had several days to marinate on those disappointing endings as they prepare to play each other in a series that is tied 6-6 all-time. The Buckeyes have won two of the three previous CBS Sports Classic meetings. The last one came on Dec. 19, 2020, when Ohio State beat UCLA 77-70 in Cleveland without fans in attendance.

This one could be a lower-scoring game than the 2020 contest as the Bruins enter at 296th nationally in points per game at 69.1. While Ohio State is an offensively efficient team, both squads are in the bottom 25% nationally in adjusted tempo, meaning the game could come down to who defends better in half-court situations.

Follow LIVE updates from UCLA vs. Ohio State in the CBS Sports Classic 

How to watch UCLA vs. Ohio State vs. UCLA live

Date: Saturday, Dec. 17 | Time: 3 p.m. ET
Location: State Farm Arena -- Atlanta
TV: CBS | Live stream: CBSSports.comCBS Sports App (Free)
Streaming on Paramount+ with Showtime (Try It Free)    

UCLA vs. Ohio State prediction, picks

UCLA is an inexperienced team with players from all over the world, and fifth-year coach Mick Cronin is still figuring out how to extract something close to its full potential. Ohio State is an older group that should know how to respond properly from the frustration of last week's overtime loss at Penn State. Look for the Buckeyes to win by a couple of possessions against a group of Bruins that has yet to show they can close the deal against a good opponent. Prediction: Ohio State -2.5

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