'Once in a lifetime': Basketball fans erupt over 'legendary' shot

Yahoo Sports Staff
·5-min read
Gonzaga's Jalen Suggshit this game-winning three in overtime to defeat the UCLA Bruins 93-90 in the 2021 NCAA Final Four. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Gonzaga's Jalen Suggshit this game-winning three in overtime to defeat the UCLA Bruins 93-90 in the 2021 NCAA Final Four. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

Gonzaga's Final Four matchup in the NCAA Tournament's Final Four was supposed to be a walkover.

Instead, the Bulldogs won an all-time thriller to advance past UCLA.

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After Gonzaga survived a close call at the end of regulation to force overtime, Jalen Suggs capped the extra session with a prayer of a buzzer-beater to send Gonzaga to a 93-90 win and into Monday's national title game against Baylor.

UCLA's Johnny Juzang had just tied the game at the other end, seemingly setting up the second overtime of a game that was close throughout. 

But Suggs dribbled the ball over halfcourt, saw an opening from well beyond the 3-point range and launched a shot from Damian Lillard range.

Before it bounced off the backboard and through the net as the buzzer sounded, Suggs was already running off the court as if he knew it was good.

The Bulldogs withstood a scorching-hot UCLA shooting effort throughout and a close call in the final of second of regulation just to force the extra session. 

With a chance to win the game in regulation, Juzang broke free on a screen and attacked the basket with the game tied at 81. But Drew Timme, playing with four fouls, stepped in Juzang's path to draw a charge that kept Gonzaga's national title hopes alive.

Jalen Suggs and the Gonzaga Bulldogs celebrate after hitting a game-winning three in overtime to advance to the NCAA Tournamen's men's basketball final. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Jalen Suggs and the Gonzaga Bulldogs celebrate after hitting a game-winning three in overtime to advance to the NCAA Tournamen's men's basketball final. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

The win was an unfamiliar close call for Gonzaga, which had won its previous 27 matchup by double digits. West Virginia was the last team to challenge Gonzaga in an 87-82 Bulldogs win on Dec. 2. 

But Gonzaga was up to the test on Saturday and advances to face a Baylor team that dismantled Houston in Saturday's other national semifinal.

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Suggs' incredible buzzer-beater whipped the basketball world into a frenzy, with social media flooded amid a deluge of reactions from fans, pundits and NBA stars alike.

Seemingly destined to be drafted with one of the first few picks in this year's NBA draft, Suggs provided an earlier highlight with a huge block and rebound, before firing a centimetre perfect cross-court bounce bass to Timme for a dunk.

It was the kind of performance that really makes the basketball world sit up and take notice.

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Gonzaga will face Baylor in the championship game, who quickly made it clear that it would be playing for the national title on Monday night.

The Bears went on an incredible 29-9 run over the final 12:48 of the first half to take a commanding halftime lead in a comfortable 78-59 win over Houston in Saturday's semifinals of the men's Final Four.

Houston pulled within five points of Baylor at 16-11 with less than 13 minutes to go in the half. Baylor's lead was 10 less than two minutes later and expanded to 20 over the next 10 minutes. 

Two baskets in the final minute of the first half gave Baylor a 45-20 halftime lead and sucked all the drama out of the game.

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