Gonzaga Defeats UCLA in Thrilling NCAA Tournament Semifinal

Gonzaga and UCLA met once again in the NCAA tournament, delivering another heart-stopping finish in a game that will go down as an instant classic. The Bulldogs prevailed over the Bruins 79-76 in an NCAA tournament West Regional semifinal at T-Mobile Arena.

The game was a nail-biter from start to finish, with UCLA rallying from an eight-point deficit in the final minute to take a one-point lead with 12.2 seconds left. However, Gonzaga’s Julian Strawther hit a deep 3-pointer to take back the lead with 7.2 seconds left, securing the Bulldogs’ victory.

Gonzaga Advances to the Elite Eight

With the win, Gonzaga advances to the Elite Eight, where they will face off against the fourth-seeded Connecticut. This victory marks UCLA’s third straight loss to Gonzaga in as many seasons and the second consecutive Sweet 16 exit from the NCAA tournament.

Drew Timme Leads Gonzaga to Victory

Gonzaga center Drew Timme had a dominant performance, scoring 36 points on 16-of-24 shooting with 13 rebounds and four assists in 38 minutes. Strawther finished with 16 points, and Malachi Smith added 14. The Bulldogs outscored UCLA 30-8 from the 15:25 mark until the 2:38 mark of the second half, which included a span of 11 minutes and 20 seconds without a made field goal.

UCLA Fights to the End

Despite being without two starters in Jaylen Clark and Adem Bona, the Bruins fought hard and played with tremendous heart. Pac-12 Player of the Year Jaime Jaquez Jr. had a phenomenal performance, scoring 29 points on 12-of-25 shooting and grabbing 11 rebounds in his final game as a Bruin.

“Every game, try not to get too high, try not to get too low,” said Jaquez. “He (Strawther) hit a big shot and we lost.”

UCLA Coach Mick Cronin Praised His Team’s Effort

UCLA coach Mick Cronin praised his team’s effort despite the loss, saying, “I told (the team) how proud I was of them because they didn’t flinch. You lose two of the best players in the Pac-12, Defensive Player of the Year, Freshman of the Year, we still expect to win, and we’re still upset we lost.”

The Bruins were outrebounded 50-26, with Gonzaga having 16 offensive rebounds and 20 second-chance points. Despite the loss, UCLA fought hard until the very end and showed tremendous resilience and determination.

In conclusion, the Gonzaga-UCLA matchup delivered another thrilling game that will go down as an instant classic. Gonzaga’s Drew Timme had a dominant performance, leading the Bulldogs to victory and into the Elite Eight. Despite the loss, UCLA fought hard and played with tremendous heart, showcasing their resilience and determination.

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