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Johnny Juzang, No. 11 UCLA Upset No. 1 Michigan, Advance to Final Four

Jenna CiccotelliAnalyst IIMarch 31, 2021

UCLA guard Johnny Juzang, left, shoots over Michigan guard Eli Brooks (55) and forward Brandon Johns Jr., right, during the second half of an Elite 8 game in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament at Lucas Oil Stadium, Tuesday, March 30, 2021, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Michael Conroy/Associated Press

Days after taking down a No. 2 seed in Alabama, UCLA kept it going, upending top-seeded Michigan, 51-49, on Tuesday to advance to the men's Final Four for the first time since 2008.

Johnny Juzang starred, dropping 28 points for the Bruins, who are 22-9 heading into a meeting with undefeated Gonzaga.

For the 23-5 Wolverines, who averaged 76.3 points per game, Hunter Dickinson scored 11 points, below his season average of 14.2 points per game.

     

Notable Performers

  • Johnny Juzang, UCLA: 28 PTS
  • Chaundee Brown, Michigan: 8 PTS, 9 REB
  • Hunter Dickinson, Michigan: 11 PTS
  • Tyger Campbell, UCLA: 11 PTS, 2 AST, 2 STL

     

Johnny Juzang's Fast Start Boosts UCLA

It looked like things might be headed downhill quick for UCLA when Michigan went on a 9-0 run early. But Juzang was there to save the first half for the Bruins.

Juzang collected 18 points in the frame, going 8-of-10 from the field and hitting both of his attempts from deep. That's a solid stat line on its own, but it became even more impressive considering the rest of the Bruins shot just 3-of-18 from the field and 3-of-8 from beyond the arc.

NCAA March Madness @marchmadness

Johnny Juzang (18pts) was LIGHTS OUT in the 1st half ♨️ @UCLAMBB #MarchMadness https://t.co/Oku07qA28v

Perhaps it was Juzang making up for lost time, considering he fouled out of the team's Sweet 16 game and was limited to just 13 points, but the Kentucky transfer has been UCLA's strongest asset for quite some time.

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Kyle Tucker @KyleTucker_ATH

To update: 11 seed UCLA leads 1 seed Michigan 27-23 at halftime with a Final Four berth on the line. Kentucky transfer Johnny Juzang has 18 points on 8-of-10 shooting. He has scored 23, 27, 17 and 13 points in the four previous NCAA Tournament games and 98 points total so far. https://t.co/eXtBGcyBY6

Sam Vecenie @Sam_Vecenie

This isn’t an NCAA Tournament hot streak for Johnny Juzang, either. He’s averaged 18 points on 44/36/91 shooting over his last 15 games. He’s been the guy for well over a month now for UCLA.

Juzang headed to the sideline early in the second half after he rolled his ankle, and his brief absence before he came back into the game paved the way for Michigan to build back from a 34-25 deficit and go on an 8-0 run.

He finally got some help in the second half, as Tyger Campbell ended the night with 11 points.

Overall, UCLA's 38.9 percent shooting from the field and 23.1 percent completion rate from deep probably won't be enough to get past the only undefeated team in college basketball in the Final Four. But it was enough to get through a No. 1 seed in Michigan, and the Bruins are on to Saturday.

     

Michigan Stifled by Bruins

An up-and-down first half for Michigan led to the team entering the break as the losing team for the first time all tournament.

The Wolverines opened the scoring, but a pair of baskets from Juzang and Jaime Jaquez Jr. showed that UCLA was willing to compete. The Wolverines were held scoreless for under five minutes early, though they came back to break it open with a 9-0 run.

But it didn't hold, with UCLA closing the half on a 23-12 run.

Brandon Johns Jr. led with eight points on perfect 4-of-4 shooting at the break, while Dickinson and Eli Brooks each tallied four points.

Johns slowed in the second half, but he was picked up by balanced scoring from the rest of the roster, with Dickinson adding seven more while Brooks doubled his first-half point total.

NCAA March Madness @marchmadness

Hunter Dickinson is FIRED UP 😤 @umichbball #MarchMadness https://t.co/DYAGVFtA6v

The Michigan bench of Austin Davis and Chaundee Brown—who was the hero in the team's second-round win over LSU, when he dropped 21 points—combined for 15 points, headlined by Brown's eight points on 2-of-3 shooting from three. He also added nine rebounds.

Brendan Quinn @BFQuinn

Chaundee Brown's two made 3s off the bench feel absolutely enormous in this one.

The quieter performance all-around was a product of the strong defense from the Bruins, who limited a Michigan offense that has averaged 76.3 points on 48.3 percent shooting to well below that, forcing 14 turnovers.

Things likely would've been different for the Wolverines if they hadn't lost their leading scorer, Isaiah Livers, to a foot injury. While the rest of the team was able to step up through the earlier tournament games, they ran out of gas against UCLA.

     

What's Next?

The Bruins will try to knock off another No. 1 seed on Saturday against Gonzaga, with a trip to the championship game on the line.

As for the Wolverines, they'll have a serious chance at being back in this spot next season. Michigan is slated to welcome the top-ranked recruiting class in the country, according to 247Sports. The group is headlined by a pair of power forwards in 5-star recruits Caleb Houstan and Moussa Diabate and rounded out by three 4-star players and a 3-star power forward.

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