INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Jaime Jaquez Jr. remembers the second Mick Cronin introduced himself at UCLA, the brand new coach promising to restore the shine to the storied program by instilling a mental and physical toughness the crew had in no scheme skilled.
It got right here in helpful Sunday night.
After watching second-seeded Alabama’s Alex Reese win profit of the Bruins’ soft protection to drain a buzzer-beating 3-pointer and power additional time, Jaquez and the remainder of his boys in blue were totally nonplussed by the second.
Instead, they scored the first 5 points of the additional session, then cruised from there to an 88-78 victory that gave the No. 11 seed Bruins their first outing to the Elite Eight since 2008 — and Cronin the first of his 18-yr coaching profession.
“When he got right here to UCLA,” Jaquez talked about, “he usually preached the total time, without reference to what turned into once going to occur, we were going to be a tough crew, and we were going to be a defensive crew. That turned into once his total perspective. No topic what happens, we’re going to be the toughest crew to creep out and play.”
Now, after beating Michigan Declare in additional time good to obtain away the First Four, the unheralded Bruins are marching forward in the NCAA Tournament. Next up is top-seeded Michigan on Tuesday night for a disaster in the Final Four.
“There’s again and again lets have packed it in,” Cronin talked about, “but I told them they’ve place up with me for two years trying to pound into them toughness and competitive spirit. They allowed me to originate it and likewise you’re seeing the outcomes lawful now.”
UCLA thought it had the game won in regulation when Cody Riley’s lay-in made it 63-62 with 14 seconds left, and Herbert Jones — a 75% depraved shooter for Alabama — overlooked every of his makes an attempt with 6 seconds left.
Singleton turned into once fouled and made two free throws for UCLA, pushing the lead to 65-62 with 4 seconds to creep. But that also gave the Crimson Tide enough time to find Reese, whose tying 3-pointer splashed good forward of the buzzer.
“I’m a depraved guy,” Cronin talked about of such situations, “but my whine turned into once they knew, and when we went to depraved he turned into once going to shoot a 3-pointer and obtain fouled. The children bailed me out and played principal in additional time.”
With wide determine guard Johnny Juzang already fouled out, Jaquez and David Singleton took adjust.
Jaquez curled in a jumper to originate it 74-68, then drilled a 3-pointer moments later to originate it 77-70. Singleton’s free throws made it 79-70 with below a minute to creep, and all UCLA (21-9) had to originate turned into once place the game far from the depraved line.
“We weren’t lovely enough to beat them tonight. They were higher,” Crimson Tide coach Nate Oats talked about. “We had your total momentum going into additional time. They’ll furthermore honest have folded. They didn’t. They got right here out and punched us in the mouth.”
Jules Bernard furthermore scored 17 points, Singleton had 15 and Juzang and Tyger Campbell added 13 apiece for the Bruins, while Jahvon Quinerly scored 20 points and John Petty Jr. had 16 for the Crimson Tide.
Alabama (26-7) turned into once good 11 of 25 from the depraved line, missing every of its makes an attempt in additional time, while losing for the eighth time in nine Sweet 16 video games. Its finest Elite Eight outing turned into once in 2004 — six nationwide titles in the past for their soccer program.
“There’s zero variables in free throws instead of the stress you positioned in your self mentally,” Oats talked about. “I don’t know if early misses by some guys made other guys creep over. It’s disappointing. We originate them, we win the game.”
FAST START, TIGHT FINISH
With the solar setting by the clerestory windows of Hinkle Fieldhouse, casting a warm glow on the few thousand fans inside, the college identified for its championship pedigree on the gridiron struck the first blow on the hardwood.
The Crimson Tide jumped out to an early lead, even after Jones picked up two offensive fouls in the first 41 seconds, as their good backcourt plan the tempo. Quinerly saved breaking down the Bruins’ perimeter protection, and Ellis did his easiest imitation of Petty, the college’s profession 3-point chief, by hitting step-wait on 3s.
For a while, Juzang singlehandedly saved the Bruins in the game.
The transfer from Kentucky made enough baskets to late down Alabama’s up-and-down capacity, and that allowed UCLA to turn the game into a half of-courtroom affair — or as Cronin calls it, a “even handed” form of play.
Then the remainder of the Bruins bought involved.
Singleton got right here off the bench to bury two 3-pointers. Jaquez, the hero of their First Four win over Michigan Declare, knocked down his have jumper. And Bernard hit a trio of 3s, turning one into a four-point play with a depraved and the ideal of them giving UCLA a 40-29 lead heading into the locker room.
Alabama promptly wiped out its deficit with an 11-0 urge to inaugurate the second half of, starting a wait on-and-forth clash over the final 15 minutes between a program that’s no stranger to March Insanity and one trying to show it belonged.
Turned out that wasn’t enough. It took 5 more minutes to near to a possibility.
UCLA is headed to its first regional final since 2008, when the Bruins made the ideal of three consecutive Final Four trips below Ben Howland. They had lost their ideal three video games in the Sweet 16 and Cronin had lost his finest other outing in 2012.
Alabama led the nation in 3-pointers tried and made this season, so it turned into once fitting that a 3 would ship the game to additional time. But the Crimson Tide finest hit six others in the game, finishing 7 of 25 from past the arc.
The Bruins will play the top-seeded Wolverines for a disaster in the Final Four. UCLA has beaten Michigan in three of their four NCAA Tournament video games, including the 1965 nationwide championship in Portland, Oregon.
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