UCLA scored the first seven points in overtime as it upset Alabama, 88-78, Sunday in an NCAA men’s basketball tournament East Regional semifinal to advance to the Elite 8 for the first time since 2008.
The 11th-seeded Bruins (21-9) will face top-seeded Michigan (23-4) at Lucas Oil Stadium Tuesday in Indianapolis as they seek their first Final Four berth since 2008.
UCLA scored 23 points in the five-minute overtime, making five of eight shots, including both of its 3-point attempts, and 11 of 13 free throws, after being held to 25 points in the 20-minute second half, when it made nine of 33 shots, including one of 12 3-point shots, and six of nine free throws.
Alabama, seeded second in the East Region and fifth in the 68-team field, forced the overtime when Alex Reese made a 3-point basket as time expired in regulation, tying the score, 65-65.
The Crimson Tide (26-7) missed their first four shots and both free throws to begin the overtime. David Singleton made a 3-point basket and jump shot sandwiched around a Tyger Campbell layup to give UCLA a 72-65 lead with two minutes, 51 seconds left in overtime.
Alabama twice cut the deficit to four in overtime, the last time at 74-70 with 2:05 remaining, before Jamie Jaquez Jr. began an 11-2 run for UCLA with a 3-point basket.
Jaquez and Jules Bernard led six Bruins in double figures with 17 points each while Singleton added 15 in 20 minutes off the bench and had a game-best plus-31, meaning UCLA outscored the Crimson Tide by 31 points while he was on the court.
Guard Jahvon Quinerly led Alabama with 20 points in 35 minutes off the bench. Guards John Petty Jr. added 16 and Keon Ellis 10 at Hinkle Fieldhouse at Butler University in Indianapolis.
Poor free throw shooting cost the Crimson Tide the opportunity to win the game in regulation, making 11 of 23, 47.8%. Herbert Jones missed three of four free throws in the final 36 seconds of regulation and five of his seven for the game.
Jones, a 6-foot-8-inch senior guard-forward who was the Southeastern Conference’s Player and Defensive Player of the Year, was called for two offensive fouls in the first 42 seconds and did not return to the game until 9:11 before halftime.
Jones finished with eight points in 30 minutes.
UCLA closed the first half with an 18-4 run to take a 40-29 lead at halftime. Alabama scored the first 11 points of the second half, with Petty making a 3-point basket, dunk and two free throws during the run that tied the score 40-40 with 15:11 left in regulation.
The Bruins responded with a 9-2 run with Jaquez making a 3-point basket and two free throws for a 49-42 lead with 11:10 remaining in regulation. The Crimson Tide scored the next nine points for a 51-49 lead with 7:50 to play in regulation.
Neither team would lead by more than two until Singleton’s two free throws put UCLA ahead 65-62 with four seconds left in regulation.