On Saturday in Indianapolis during the Final Four of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament, Gonzaga guard Jalen Suggs won the game for the unbeaten Bulldogs with a running three-point jumper from just inside half court, 93-90 over the UCLA Bruins.
Gonzaga Beats Ucla
UCLA was behind 90-85 with under a minute to play, but a three-pointer by Jaime Jaquez Jr. and a putback by Johnny Juzang off his own miss with 3.3 seconds remaining brought the Bruins within a point.
Suggs received the inbound pass and scored the winning basket off a bank shot to preserve the Bulldogs’ perfect record. As a result, they will play Baylor in Monday night’s championship game.
Gonzaga (31-0) was led by Drew Timme’s 25 points, followed by Joel Ayayi’s 22, Corey Kispert’s 15, and Suggs’ 13.
The Bruins (22-10) were led offensively by Juzang (29 points), followed by Jaime Jaquez Jr. (19), Tyger Campbell (17), and Cody Riley (14 points).
Gonzaga is aiming for a perfect season like Indiana had in 1976. Since then, four unbeaten teams have qualified for the NCAA Tournament. Only the 1979 Indiana State squad made it all the way to the title game.
In 2017, the Zags also played in the national championship game, however they lost to North Carolina. The Bulldogs will play Baylor next.
As the fifth No. 11 seed to lose in the semifinals, UCLA misses out on the chance to make history by reaching the national championship game.
With a few minutes remaining in regulation, UCLA and Gonzaga swapped three-point bombs, resulting in an 81-all tie. To end the scoring, Jaquez made a pair of free throws with 43.1 ticks remaining. With 57 seconds remaining, Kispert scored on a putback to give Gonzaga the lead.
In the last 6:08 of regulation, UCLA took the lead for good on a basket by Tyger Campbell.
With 11:56 remaining, Gonzaga’s lead grew to 64-57 after a basket by Andrew Nembhard.
On Tuesday, Juzang led UCLA to an Elite Eight victory over Michigan with 28 points. On Thursday, he led the Bruins to another victory with 29 points. The 6’6” sophomore was driving for a potential game-winning shot with 1.1 seconds remaining in regulation, but he was called for a charge.
Because of that call, the game went into overtime, and Gonzaga centre Drew Timme promptly won it with six points in the first two minutes. The Bulldogs’ record moved to 31-0 after the spectacular performance of their sophomore standout, who scored 25 points.
On Monday at 6 o’clock, the #1 Bulldogs will take on the #1 Baylor Bears. This year’s National Championship PT may be seen on KREM 2. That would make history as the first ever national championship for this team.
On Saturday, the game between Gonzaga and UCLA was a tight one from the opening tip.
The Bulldogs previously reached the Final Four in 2017, but fell short to North Carolina.
Gonzaga entered the contest with an NCAA-record 27 consecutive victories by double digits. Another NCAA record is their streak of five consecutive seasons with at least 30 wins.