UCLA’s bid for an upset of undefeated Gonzaga fell narrowly short Saturday evening as Jalen Suggs made an approximately 40-foot 3-point basket as time expired in overtime to give the Bulldogs a 93-90 victory in a national semifinal game of the men’s basketball tournament.
The Bruins had tied the score when Johnny Juzang grabbed the rebound of his missed jump shot and made a layup with three seconds to play.
UCLA had a chance to win the game in regulation but Juzang was called for an offensive foul with one second left.
The Bruins (22-10) never led in the overtime. After UCLA junior forward Cody Riley made a jump shot to tie the score, 83-83, with 4:21 left, Drew Timme made back-to-back layups for Gonzaga.
Riley made a jump shot with 2:07 remaining to cut the deficit to 87-85. Andrew Nembhard made a 3-point basket to give the Bulldogs a 90-85 lead with 1:15 to play. UCLA pulled back within two, 90-88, on Jamie Jaquez Jr.’s 3-point basket with 48 seconds left.
Juzang scored a game-high 29 points to lead four Bruins in double figures. Jaquez added 19, Tyger Campbell 17 and Riley 14 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
Timme led Gonzaga (31-0) with 25. Joel Ayai added 22, Suggs 16, Corey Kispert 15 and Nembhard 11.
The Bulldogs will face Baylor in Monday’s championship game. The Bears defeated Houston, 78-59, in the first national semifinal earlier Saturday. Gonzaga will seek to become the eighth team to win a national championship with an undefeated record and the first since Indiana went 32-0 in the 1975-76 season.
This will be Gonzaga’s second appearance in the championship game. The Bulldogs lost to North Carolina, 71-65, in the 2017 championship game, their only previous Final Four appearance.
The victory extended Gonzaga’s school-record winning streak to 35 games. However, its NCAA Division I record 26-game winning streak by at least 10 points ended.
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