College basketball fans were treated to an instant classic in Saturday night’s Final Four game between Gonzaga and UCLA. The Bulldogs walked away from Lucas Oil Stadium and into the national title game thanks to a late game buzzer-beater from freshman standout Jalen Suggs.
After UCLA’s Johnny Juzang laid-in a putback with 3.3 seconds to go, Suggs took the inbounds pass and raced up the floor. Just a few steps after crossing mid-court, he hoisted a shot that hit squarely off the backboard and fell through the net for the win as the horn sounded.
The buzzer-beater ended a back-and-forth, overtime game between the Bulldogs and the Bruins, as Suggs, Mark Few and the rest of Gonzaga celebrated keeping their perfect season alive. The shot also brought an end to UCLA’s impressive run through the NCAA Tournament.
Beginning in the First Four, the No. 11 Bruins weaved their way through the bracket, knocking off some of the best teams in the country. Mick Cronin and his team were a part of three overtimes games, including last night’s classic against Gonzaga, and boasted upsets over Alabama and Michigan.
But, the UCLA run came to an end in devastating fashion on Saturday. The Los Angeles Times, which obviously has a close connection to the Bruins program, summed up the late-game scenario perfectly with a Sunday headline on the front page of the paper’s Sports section.
LA Times today. pic.twitter.com/knWUK3Ghfr
— Colin Cowherd (@ColinCowherd) April 4, 2021
The shot might’ve meant heartbreak for UCLA, but the rest of the college basketball world anointed the game as one of the best of all-time. It’s hard to disagree given how close the contest stayed right until the final buzzer.
While the Bruins will head home just two wins short of a national championship, the Bulldogs will prepare for Monday’s title game. Gonzaga will meet Baylor, who comfortably knocked off Houston in the first national semifinal.
The Bulldogs and the Bears will tip off from Lucas Oil Stadium at 9:20 p.m. E.T. on Monday night. The game will air on CBS.