Jarron Cumberland led Cincinnati (30-6) with 15 points.
UCLA shot a blistering 63.3% from the field in the second half to overcome a 33-30 halftime deficit and secure the program's sixth trip to the Sweet 16 in the last 12 seasons.
The Bruins finished the game having shot 50 percent overall after registering a season-low three turnovers. UCLA used quick scoring runs to overwhelm the Bearcats in the second half. The Bruins ran off nine unanswered points in just over a minute to claim a 55-47 lead with 12:28 to play. Ball hit back-to-back long three-pointers, and Alford added one of his own to force a Bearcat timeout.
Up by just five points, 57-52, with over 10 minutes to play, the Bruins used another one-minute run to score seven quick points. Alford hit another three, Ike Anigbogu led a fast break with a block and dunk, and Ball scored on a layup with 9:10 remaining to increase the Bruins' lead to 12 points (64-52).
Cincinnati reduced the Bruins' margin to as few as seven points with 4:28 to play on back-to-back jumpers by Cumberland, but UCLA deflated the Bearcats with back-to-back dunks by Leaf that pushed the Bruin lead to 11 points (74-63) with 2:59 to play.
In the first half, the Bearcats used a 12-0 run to turn an 8-2 deficit into a 14-8 lead. Cincinnati maintained the lead for the next 11 minutes until a Ball deep three-pointer with 3:09 to play gave UCLA a 27-26 lead, but the Bearcats nabbed the halftime lead, 33-30, on a floater by Troy Caupain with five seconds left.