Two-seeded UCLA’s late comeback attempt against third-seeded Gonzaga fails as Julian Strawther’s 3-pointer from LOGO with seven seconds left wins the Bulldogs 79-76… sending them to the Elite Eight
After going an 11-minute stretch without making a single field goal, the UCLA Bruins pulled off a massive comeback in the final minutes. However, a dagger three-pointer with seven seconds to go resulted in a 79-76 win for Gonzaga.
The Bruins were down 72-62 with 2:30 remaining in the game, the Bruins put together a massive comeback riding a 14-3 run.
With 13 seconds remaining, Amari Bailey hit a 3-pointer to take the lead 76-75, but with seven seconds left, Gonzaga’s Julian Strawther hit a deep shot from goal to come back 78-76.
Gonzaga’s Malachi Smith stole the ball from UCLA’s Tyger Campbell, but Strawther made only 1 of 2 free throws at the other end, giving the Bruins a chance. Campbell’s 3-pointer at the buzzer hit the back of the rim, sending the Zags running off the bench.
Awaiting them in the final are the University of Connecticut Huskies, who defeated Arkansas 86-65 earlier in the day.
An impressive last-minute comeback attempt for UCLA wasn’t enough to outlast Gonzaga
After a brief comeback attempt, Amari Bailey (5) hit a 3-pointer to give UCLA the lead.
But Julian Strawther hit a deep shot from the logo to put the dagger in UCLA’s hopes.
Strawther’s shot, off a diving pass, was reminiscent of the one taken by Villanova’s Kris Jenkins to clinch the 2016 national championship.
It’s the second time Gonzaga has beaten UCLA on a last-second shot in the NCAA Tournament. Jalen Suggs crushed the Bruins last time out, hitting a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to send the Zags to the 2021 national championship game.
The flurry of a finish started out more like a prizefight, each team taking their turn to strike in a game of wild swings. UCLA led by 13 at the half, but Gonzaga led by 10 with 2:30 remaining in the game. Then UCLA didn’t hit a shot for more than 12 minutes, and still rallied to lead 76-75 with 13 seconds remaining.
The Zags were led by Drew Timme, who scored 36 points for his NCAA Tournament record 10th game with 20 points.
Gonzaga also turned up the defensive pressure after UCLA’s first half of hot shooting and led by eight, but Jaime Jaquez Jr. scored on a three-point play and layup to cut the score 74-71 with 45 seconds remaining. Timme then missed two free throws, setting up Bailey’s shot.
Fortunately for the Zags, Strawther hit his long 3-pointer, sending them to the Elite Eight for the fifth time under coach Mark Few.
Jáquez finished with 29 points and 11 rebounds.