Gonzaga guard Jalen Suggs hit a running three-point jumper from just inside half court to give the undefeated Bulldogs a 93-90 overtime win over the UCLA Bruins in the Final Four of the NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament championship in Indianapolis on Saturday.
UCLA trailed 90-85 with under a minute remaining, but a Jaime Jaquez Jr. three-pointer and a Johnny Juzang putback off his own miss tied the game at 90 with 3.3 seconds left.
The ball was then inbounded to Suggs, who banked in the game-winner to keep the Bulldogs undefeated. They'll now face Baylor in the national championship game Monday evening.
UCLA G Johnny Juzang: 29 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals
UCLA G Jaime Jaquez Jr.: 19 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists
UCLA G Tyger Campbell: 17 points, 7 assists
UCLA F Cody Riley: 14 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists
Gonzaga F Drew Timme: 25 points, 4 rebounds
Gonzaga G Joel Ayayi: 22 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals
Gonzaga G Jalen Suggs: 16 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds, 2 steals
Gonzaga F Corey Kispert: 15 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals
The history of the NCAA basketball tournament is littered with buzzer-beaters, but game-winners in the deeper stages of the tournament are fairly rare.
The ones that have gone down are legendary.
UNC's Charlotte Smith and Notre Dame's Arike Ogunbowale both drilled three-pointers to win the women's titles in 1994 and 2018, respectively.
On the men's side, Villanova's Kris Jenkins drilled a deep three to give Villanova the 2016 crown, and Lorenzo Charles dunked home the winner to give NC State the 1983 men's title over Houston.
Christian Laettner may have the most memorable one of all, as he took a full-court pass from Grant Hill and connected on a turnaround jumper to send Duke into the 1992 Final Four over Kentucky.
Hill was on the call for the UCLA vs. Gonzaga game, and he was witness to another shot that will forever live in basketball history.
Because of it, Suggs has etched his name among the greats, and he even struggled to find the words for what had just happened.
Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports tried to provide historical context for Suggs' shot:
Adding to Suggs' legendary night is the fact that he already authored the play of the game (and maybe the tournament) before he even touched the ball following Juzang's game-tying putback.
With the score tied at 77 late in regulation, the 6'4" Suggs blocked the 6'9" Cody Riley's point-blank layup attempt.
The future top-five NBA draft pick then corralled the ball and somehow slid a half-court bounce pass through four UCLA defenders to a cutting Drew Timme, who finished the sequence with a dunk:
Far more work needed to be done before Gonzaga could move on to the final, but Suggs made sure the Bulldogs got there.
UCLA, Led by Juzang, Achieves True Greatness
"I sit in Coach Wooden's seat, so when you sit in his seat you have to channel the things that he taught: True greatness is giving your best effort. What else can I ask from those guys?"
That's what UCLA head coach Mick Cronin told CBS Sports' Tracy Wolfson following his team's loss. He referenced the legendary John Wooden, the UCLA coach who won 10 national titles with the school.
The No. 11 seed has given a tremendous effort all tournament.
The Bruins needed to win an extra game in the First Four (overcoming an 11-point halftime deficit to win in overtime no less) just to make the round of 64. UCLA also won an overtime game against Alabama in the Sweet 16 and survived No. 1 Michigan in the Elite Eight, 51-49.
After all that, this is what UCLA was up against going into the Final Four:
Gonzaga entered Saturday averaging 91.6 points per game, the most in Division I men's hoops. Its 54.8 percent field-goal rate was No. 1, and the same went for its 23.1-point scoring margin. The Bulldogs won 29 of their 30 games by 10 or more points, including their last 27.
In addition, Gonzaga entered Saturday with the highest recorded adjusted efficiency margin recorded by KenPom.com (since 2002). The Bulldogs were not only first in offensive efficiency but also fifth on the defensive end.
Naturally, Gonzaga has NBA talent on the roster: Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report has Suggs (third overall), Kispert (13th) and Joel Ayayi (39th) going in the first round in his latest 2021 mock draft. That list doesn't include Timme, who scored 25 points and put Gonzaga in position for the Suggs game-winner after scoring six in the extra session.
With all that, UCLA entered the game as a 14.5-point underdog.
So that's a lot. And yet UCLA, led by Juzang, nearly got it done.
It's already been an emotional weekend for Juzang, whose older brother Christian surprised him by coming to Indianapolis on Friday:
Christian plays professional basketball in Vietnam, and the two brothers hadn't seen each other for nearly a year.
Juzang entered the Final Four averaging 21.6 points per game in the tournament, including 28 against Michigan and 27 versus BYU.
He carried the UCLA offense Saturday, playing all 45 minutes and scoring 29 points on 12-of-18 shooting. His three-point jumper gave the Bruins a late 77-75 edge, and he also nailed a mid-range jumper to answer Suggs' incredible block and assist to give Gonzaga a 79-77 lead:
Juzang looked like he could have had the chance to play the hero in double overtime, but it wasn't meant to be. Still, Juzang and the Bruins received much love on Twitter from ex-Bruins Kevin Love and Troy Aikman, among others:
Ultimately, CBS Sports analyst Clark Kellogg put it best:
The Bruins may have scored fewer points, but there were no losers. UCLA ultimately achieved that greatness Wooden and Cronin referenced. A moral victory isn't getting the Bruins to the national championship, but they were simply sensational.