UCLA challenged top-seeded Gonzaga for 45 minutes Saturday and came up just short.
After Johnny Juzang thought he had forced a second overtime with a putback to tie the score at 90 with 3.3 seconds left, Jalen Suggs made a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to send the surprising Bruins home with a heartbreaking loss in the national semifinals.
UCLA (22-10) played this one in a decidedly different way than they had through their incredible tourney run.
Instead of slowing things down and relying on defense, the Bruins traded baskets with Gonzaga (30-1), one of the nation’s most prolific scoring teams and didn’t allow the Zags to go on one of their trademark runs.
It was almost enough. Juzang finished with 29 points to lead the Bruins, an No. 11 seed who started the tournament in the First Four and made it agonizingly close to reaching the championship game against Baylor.