The underdog UCLA which stands at no.11 appeared confident and roared against the no.1 Gonzaga in an attempt to secure one of the greatest knock outs in NCAA Tournament History.
In an overtime contest, Gonzaga’s unbeaten Zags took their major blow of the season from their feisty rival, but Jalen Suggs shot a game-winning three-pointer as a timeout was called for a 93-90 victory.
A pre-game scenario never transpired. The squad was disregarded by the public, and they were surviving on the call of a buzzer. The Bulldogs (31-0) faced their toughest challenge of the season against UCLA, stumbling back-and-forth in the contest, but drilling down and counter-punching with their explosive offense, they were able to keep their perfect record by holding off the relentless Bruins.
Major Shots of the game:
With one second left on the clock, UCLA’s Johnny Juzang finished the game with 29 points. Juzang raced to the basket and managed to maintain contact, only to be called for a charge by Gonzaga’s Drew Timme, forcing overtime.
Gonzaga has advanced to the national final. In a highly awaited battle between two top-tier teams, the Bulldogs will battle with No. 1 seed Baylor, who easily defeated Houston, on Monday (9 p.m. ET, CBS).
Gonzaga’s player Andrew Nembhard’s three-pointer with less than a minute left in overtime seemed to secure the victory, but UCLA’s Jaime Jaquez Jr. shot a three-pointer with 50 seconds remaining, while Juzang was responsible for the draw at 90, setting up the dramatic final act.
Gonzaga’s champion in this match was a supporting player Joel Ayayi who scored 22 points, while the three big legends of Zags – Suggs, Timme, and Corey Kispert made crucial passes to keep UCLA aside. UCLA dominated the game’s pace for most of the first half, but coach Mick Cronin’s team was dogged by turnovers.
In the first half, Jules Bernard had three fouls, while Tyger Campbell and Jaquez Jr. each had two fouls. A lead of five points was rapidly wiped out after three-pointers scored by Kispert and Suggs, one after another which tied the game. Gonzaga took a 45-44 lead into the interval. With just over a minute remaining, Suggs’ shot a pass to Timme and Gonzaga remained in lead with a score of 79-77.
In the loss, Juzang led the UCLA team after shooting major scores more than one time, while Jaquez and Campbell each contributed 19 and 17 scores. In the final minutes, two free throws of Jaquez tied the game at 81.