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.
- 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.