The Gonzaga men’s basketball team will play for the national championship.
On Saturday night, the Bulldogs defeated the UCLA Bruins, 93-90 in overtime, on a last-second 45-foot jump shot by freshman guard Jalen Suggs.
Top-ranked Gonzaga has won all 31 of its games this season. This one was the closest and most dramatic.
The game was close and exciting all the way. The first half was a back-and-forth effort. The Bulldogs led 45-44 at the half. It remained close throughout the second half. Gonzaga found some offensive rhythm and moved to its largest lead at 66-59, but the Bruins went on a run and took the lead at 71-70. The teams were never more than two points apart to the end of regulation. The Bruins’ Jaime Jaquez hit two free throws with 43 seconds left and sent the game to overtime with the teams tied at 81-81.
In the overtime, the Zags’ Drew Timme hit three baskets and Andrew Nembhard hit a three-point shot to put Gonzaga up 90-85. But UCLA responded and Johnny Juzang hit a layup with three seconds left to tie it at 90. Suggs took the inbounds pass and quickly dribbled to just inside the half-court line before heaving his jump shot off of the glass and into the basket as the buzzer sounded.
Gonzaga’s final game will be Monday night in Indianapolis against the Baylor Bears for the national championship. Earlier Saturday, Baylor cruised past the Houston Cougars, coached by former Washington State University coach Kelvin Sampson, 78-59.