DimeMag

UCLA Upset Alabama Despite A Wild Buzzer-Beater To Force Overtime

No. 2 Alabama entered Sunday as a healthy favorite against No. 11 UCLA in the Sweet 16, as the Tide had been on fire through two rounds of the tournament, lighting up opponents from three-point range.

However, it was UCLA that caught fire early, taking a 40-29 lead into halftime, but the Tide steadily climbed back into the game behind some sensational defense and timely bucket getting. Still, down the stretch they couldn’t take control in large part due to dismal shooting from both the three-point line and the free throw line. The Tide were 6-of-22 from three-point land and an almost impossibly bad 11-of-23 from the charity stripe in regulation, with 75 percent free throw shooter Herb Jones going 2-of-7 from the stripe, including a 1-of-4 spell in the final minute of the game.

As such, UCLA was able to take a 65-62 lead with just under five seconds to play. Then, March happened.

For some reason, despite being sub-50 percent from the line on the game, UCLA chose not to foul up three and allowed the Tide to get the ball in cleanly to Jahvon Quinerly, who found Alex Reese open 30 feet from the basket. Naturally, even on an awful shooting night for Alabama, Reese found nothing but net.

That shot sent Hinkle Fieldhouse into a frenzy, but in overtime, the Bruins took control early thanks to some clutch buckets from Jaime Jaquez and the continued cold shooting from Alabama.

Nate Oats had Alabama foul all the way to the bitter end, allowing UCLA to run it up to an 88-78 win, sending the Tide out and advancing to the Elite 8 where they will face No. 1 Michigan, as they look to continue their stunning run through the tournament.

×