March Madness: No. 6 Cincinnati vs. No. 3 UCLA

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Lonzo Ball scored 19 points and ignited UCLA's rally from a poor start with nine assists, lifting the third-seeded Bruins to a 79-67 victory over Cincinnati on Sunday in the South Regional.

UCLA (31-4) had a hard time solving sixth-seeded Cincinnati's active defense in the first half, unable to get shots to drop or get out in transition. The Bruins found a new gear in the second half, breaking out for dunks and dropping in strings of 3-pointers to quickly push the lead to double digits.

Now UCLA is headed to its third Sweet 16 appearance in four seasons under coach Steve Alford, erasing — at least in part — the 15-17 letdown of a year ago.

The Bruins will face No. 2 seed Kentucky in the South Regional semifinals Friday in Memphis.

Gyorgy Goloman #14 of the UCLA Bruins and
(Credit: Getty Images / Thearon W. Henderson)

Gyorgy Goloman #14 of the UCLA Bruins and Troy Caupain #10 of the Cincinnati Bearcats go after a loose ball during the second round of the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Golden 1 Center on March 19, 2017 in Sacramento, California.

Ike Anigbogu #13 of the UCLA Bruins goes
(Credit: Getty Images / Jamie Squire)

Ike Anigbogu #13 of the UCLA Bruins goes after a loose ball against the Cincinnati Bearcats during the second round of the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Golden 1 Center on March 19, 2017 in Sacramento, California.

TJ Leaf #22 of the UCLA Bruins dunks
(Credit: Getty Images / Jamie Squire)

TJ Leaf #22 of the UCLA Bruins dunks the ball against the Cincinnati Bearcats during the second round of the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Golden 1 Center on March 19, 2017 in Sacramento, California.

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Ike Anigbogu #13 of the UCLA Bruins reacts
(Credit: Getty Images / Jamie Squire)

Ike Anigbogu #13 of the UCLA Bruins reacts after a dunk against the Cincinnati Bearcats during the second round of the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Golden 1 Center on March 19, 2017 in Sacramento, California.

UCLA guard Lonzo Ball, left, goes to the
(Credit: AP / Steve Yeater)

UCLA guard Lonzo Ball, left, goes to the basket against Cincinnati forward Kyle Washington during the first half of a second-round game of the NCAA men's college basketball tournament in Sacramento, Calif., Sunday, March 19, 2017.

Cincinnati guard Jarron Cumberland, right, drives against UCLA
(Credit: AP / Rich Pedroncelli)

Cincinnati guard Jarron Cumberland, right, drives against UCLA Lonzo Ball during the first half of a second-round game of the NCAA men's college basketball tournament in Sacramento, Calif., Sunday, March 19, 2017.

Thomas Welsh #40 of the UCLA Bruins reacts
(Credit: Getty Images / Jamie Squire)

Thomas Welsh #40 of the UCLA Bruins reacts after a play against the Cincinnati Bearcats during the second round of the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Golden 1 Center on March 19, 2017 in Sacramento, California.

Lonzo Ball #2 of the UCLA Bruins looks
(Credit: Getty Images / Thearon W. Henderson)

Lonzo Ball #2 of the UCLA Bruins looks to pass around Troy Caupain #10 of the Cincinnati Bearcats during the second round of the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Golden 1 Center on March 19, 2017 in Sacramento, California.

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Head coach Mick Cronin of the Cincinnati Bearcats
(Credit: Getty Images / Jamie Squire)

Head coach Mick Cronin of the Cincinnati Bearcats reacts against the UCLA Bruins during the second round of the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Golden 1 Center on March 19, 2017 in Sacramento, California.

UCLA guard Aaron Holiday, front, comes up with
(Credit: AP / Steve Yeater)

UCLA guard Aaron Holiday, front, comes up with the ball against Cincinnati guard Jarron Cumberland during the first half of a second-round game of the NCAA men's college basketball tournament in Sacramento, Calif., Sunday, March 19, 2017.

Kevin Johnson #25 of the Cincinnati Bearcats reacts
(Credit: Getty Images / Jamie Squire)

Kevin Johnson #25 of the Cincinnati Bearcats reacts after a play against the UCLA Bruins during the second round of the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Golden 1 Center on March 19, 2017 in Sacramento, California.

Lonzo Ball #2 of the UCLA Bruins signals
(Credit: Getty Images / Thearon W. Henderson)

Lonzo Ball #2 of the UCLA Bruins signals to his team against the Cincinnati Bearcats during the second round of the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Golden 1 Center on March 19, 2017 in Sacramento, California.

Cincinnati's Jacob Evans tries to steal the ball
(Credit: AP / Rich Pedroncelli)

Cincinnati's Jacob Evans tries to steal the ball from UCLA guard Isaac Hamilton during the first half of a second-round game of the NCAA men's college basketball tournament in Sacramento, Calif., Sunday, March 19, 2017.

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Cincinnati guard Troy Caupain, right, drives against UCLA
(Credit: AP / Steve Yeater)

Cincinnati guard Troy Caupain, right, drives against UCLA center Thomas Welsh, left, during the first half of a second-round game of the NCAA men's college basketball tournament in Sacramento, Calif., Sunday, March 19, 2017.

Head coach Steve Alford of the UCLA Bruins
(Credit: Getty Images / Jamie Squire)

Head coach Steve Alford of the UCLA Bruins watches on against the Cincinnati Bearcats during the second round of the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Golden 1 Center on March 19, 2017 in Sacramento, California.

Lonzo Ball #2 of the UCLA Bruins watches
(Credit: Getty Images / Jamie Squire)

Lonzo Ball #2 of the UCLA Bruins watches as Gary Clark #11 of the Cincinnati Bearcats drives to the basket during the second round of the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Golden 1 Center on March 19, 2017 in Sacramento, California.

Lonzo Ball #2 of the UCLA Bruins signals
(Credit: Getty Images / Jamie Squire)

Lonzo Ball #2 of the UCLA Bruins signals to his team against the Cincinnati Bearcats during the second round of the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Golden 1 Center on March 19, 2017 in Sacramento, California.

Bryce Alford #20 of the UCLA Bruins reacts
(Credit: Getty Images / Thearon W. Henderson)

Bryce Alford #20 of the UCLA Bruins reacts against the Cincinnati Bearcats during the second round of the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Golden 1 Center on March 19, 2017 in Sacramento, California.

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