Is there a game that better exemplifies March Madness than Saturday’s Final Four matchup between Gonzaga and UCLA?
The 1-seed Bulldogs punched their ticket to the national title game — and kept their perfect record alive at 31-0 — with a 93-90 overtime win against the 11-seed Bruins. And not a single moment of it came easy. The Bruins continued to play incredible basketball in every facet of the game from the opening tip, and they forced the Bulldogs to earn every point in a game where neither team led by more than seven.
Nine combined starters on Gonzaga and UCLA scored in double digits, with only Bruins defensive whiz Jules Bernard failing to clear the 10-point mark. Johnny Juzang continued to be the guy for UCLA, scoring 29 points on 12-of-18 shooting (3 for 6 from 3), to go with six rebounds, two assists and two steals. Codey Riley scored 14, Jaime Jaquez Jr. scored 19 and Tyger Campbell scored 17 for UCLA.
On the other end, Drew Timme led the way for Gonzaga: He had 25 points on 11-of-15 shooting, four rebounds and two assists. Corey Kispert (15), Jalen Suggs (16), Andrew Nembhard (11) and Joel Ayayi (22) rounded out the Bulldogs starters’ scoring.
This game was chock-full of excellent plays, including a Jaquez putback jumper that tied the game with 3.3 seconds left in OT, Timme drawing a charge with 1.1 seconds left in regulation to keep UCLA from shooting go-ahead free throws and an incredible sequence where Suggs blocked a Riley dunk and dished a halfcourt assist to Timme.
But no play will come close to Suggs’ buzzer-beater from just inside midcourt at the end of OT to give the game its final score. It now ranks among the top buzzer-beaters in March Madness history.
This one was truly a game for the ages. It’s a shame that someone had to fall, and the Bruins are anything but losers. And Sporting News tracked every second of the action:
Gonzaga vs. UCLA score
Gonzaga vs. UCLA live updates, highlights from 2021 Final Four
All times Eastern
Final: Gonzaga 93, UCLA 90 (OT)
11:10 p.m.: INCREDIBLE FINISH. Juzang gets his own rebound and ties the game at 90 with 3.3 seconds left. Then, inconceivably, Suggs hits a halfcourt 3 off the glass to send the game to 93-90. Onions! Zags win!
11:09 p.m.: Kispert misses the 3. UCLA will have last possession.
11:09 p.m.: Corner 3 for Jaquez, of course. Gonzaga’s lead is 9–88 with half a minute left.
11:06 p.m.: Nembhard with a dagger of a 3 makes it 90-85 with 57.5 seconds to play. This game just keeps giving.
11:05 p.m.: Both teams miss on a couple possessions, giving Gonzaga the ball with 1:32. Timeout Bulldogs.
11:04 p.m.: Another Riley jumper! And Suggs seems to have recovered. It’s 87-85 Gonzaga.
11:03 p.m.: Suggs is hurt on the Zags possession, but play hasn’t stopped.
11:03 p.m.: Riley misses. Zags ball.
11:02 p.m.: Watson is called for a foul on Riley, who is a 67 percent free throw shooter. One-and-one coming up.
11:01 p.m.: Sure enough. Another Timme basket with Bernard in defense. It’s 87-84 Gonzaga with 3:13 left. Timeout UCLA.
11 p.m.: And another layup from Timme, who has 23 points on 10-of-14 shooting. They’ll likely keep feeding him. It’s 85-83 Zags.
11 p.m.: Riley barely beats the buzzer to tie it at 83 with a jumper.
10:58 p.m.: Zags win the tipoff and Timme immediately gets an and-one layup on Riley. It’s 83-81 Zags after he misses the free throw.
Second half: Gonzaga 81, Baylor 81
10:56 p.m.: Gonzaga’s inbounds pass is intercepted, and we’re going to overtime! It’s the third of the tournament for this Bruins team.
10:55 p.m.: Clock reset to 1.1.
10:55 p.m.: Juzang charges Timme with .7 seconds left! Oh my goodness! Thankfully for the Bruins, that is not enough to put the Zags in the bonus.
10:54 p.m.: Kispert misses the 3. UCLA will get the ball with the last possession.
10:53 p.m.: Riley rejects Suggs with 14 left on the shot clock and 26.8 on the game clock.
10:53 p.m.: He hits them both. It’s 81-81 with 40 seconds left.
10:52 p.m.: Kispert is called for a foul on Jaquez, who will have a pair to attempt the tie.
10:49 p.m.: Kispert gets the putback layup to give Gonzaga an 81-79 lead with 54.3 seconds remaining. Timeout UCLA.
10:49 p.m.: Then there’s Juzang on the other end to tie the game at 79 . He has 27 on the game.
10:48 p.m.: Incredible play by Suggs! He blocked Riley on a would-be poster, then bounce-passes to Timme for the monster slam. Incredible play.
10:46 p.m.: Turnaround 2 by Suggs with Jaquez in his face. Now Cronin calls a timeout (2:18) with the score knotted up at 77.
10:45 p.m.: Beautiful setup gets Juzang an open 3. Suggs crashes in to double-team Riley, who bounce-passes the ball to Juzang for the transition shot. It’s 77-75 UCLA . Timeout Gonzaga (2:49).
10:40 p.m.: Excellent defense by Timme forces the ball back into the backcourt, and Campbell can’t get the shot off before a shot clock violation. Zags ball with 3:54 remaining.
10:40 p.m.: And there’s a Kispert wing 3. Zags retake the lead, 75-74.
10:39 p.m.: And now Timme has his fourth foul. Still 4:41 left to play in this one. Few isn’t subbing anyone in. Meanwhile, Juzang hits the second of a pair of free throws to make it 74-72 UCLA.
10:38 p.m.: Gonzaga turns it over out of the timeout. Not ideal.
10:34 p.m.: Campbell gives UCLA the lead, 71-70 with a nifty mood under the basket. Few calls the timeout with 6:04 left.
10:33 p.m.: Suggs is hit with his third foul on a charge against Campbell. UCLA’s ball down 70-69.
10:32 p.m.: Kispert hits one, makes it 70-67 Gonzaga.
10:28 p.m.: Jaquez is called for a foul on Kispert, who will shoot a pair coming out of the TV timeout (7:25). Zags lead 69-67.
10:28 p.m.: There’s a Campbell mid-ranger. The Bruins can’t miss from that distance.
10:27 p.m.: Followed by a powerful slam by Kispert! That makes it 68-65 Zags and gives them precious breathing room.
10:25 p.m.: A Juzang 2 makes it 66-65 Zags . That would have been a good spot for the Bulldogs to put this away. Instead, the Bruins are right back in it.
10:23 p.m.: Ayayi just picked up his third foul, so he’ll need to be mindful of his defense with 9:52 left in the game.
10:22 p.m.: Or not. Campbell scores on the corner 3 as part of a 5-0 UCLA run. It’s 66-62 Zags.
10:22 p.m.: Couple traded baskets gives Gonzaga a 66-59 lead. This is where they can clamp down on this Bruins team.
10:21 p.m.: Nembhard gets a mid-range bucket to extend the lead further to 64-57 .
10:20 p.m.: Nembhard hits the first of two to extend Gonzaga’s lead to 62-57 . Still Zags’ ball.
10:20 p.m.: And it has been upgraded to a flagrant 1. Nembhard will get two shots and Gonzaga will retain possession.
10:19 p.m.: Looks like Riley is going to get the foul for hooking Nembhard. Now the question is whether it’s a flagrant.
10:17 p.m.: Curious situation unfolding. Officials are heading to the replay monitor to see if UCLA’s Riley or Gonzaga’s Nembhard fouled on a rebound attempt.
10:15 p.m.: Suggs dishes the ball to Timme, who gets an and-one opportunity after the foul by clark. … He gets it for the 3-point play, and Gonzaga now leads UCLA 51-57.
10:14 p.m.: More fastbreak points, these from Ayayi. He now has 20 on the game to give Gonzaga a 58-55 lead .
10:13 p.m.: … Followed quickly by a Clark 3 to give UCLA the 55-54 lead . Absurd, this game is. They’re scoring at a break-neck pace.
10:12 p.m.: Ayayi gets another steal and Suggs scores on the fast break. That’s nine such points for the Zags and that makes it 54-52 in favor of Gonzaga.
10:11 pm.: Suggs seems to be favoring his shooting hand. He has been a little gimpy all game.
10:09 p.m.: UCLA will have the ball coming out of the media timeout (14:52).
10:07 p.m.: Timme scores his second straight bucket. He’s starting to exert himself a bit in the paint. That ties it at 52 apiece.
10:06 p.m.: A near turnover by UCLA instead goes to the possession arrow. The ball stays with the Bruins.
10:05 p.m.: And there’s Jaquez to give the Bruins the lead … followed by a Timme layup on the other end. It’s tied at 50. No backing down from either of these teams.
10:03 p.m.: Jaquez scores a great basket under the rim with Timme in defense. Suggs rushes back down to the other end for a quick bucket to retake the lead at 48-46.
10 p.m.: Bernard notches his fourth foul of the game just 11 seconds into the half. Nembhard hits the first of two free throws to make it 46-44 Zags.
First half: Gonzaga 45, UCLA 44
9:47 p.m.: Juzang has a team-high 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting (2 of 3 from 3), adding two rebounds and assists. Ayayi is the guy for Gonzaga, scoring 16 points on 6-of-6 shooting (2 of 2 from 3). He also has two rebounds and a steal.
9:44 p.m.: First-half stats:
- Field goals: UCLA 15 of 26 (57.7 percent); Gonzaga 17 of 28 (60.7 percent)
- 3-pointers: UClA 4 of 7 (57.1 percent); Gonzaga 4 of 8 (50 percent)
- Free throws: UCLA 10 of 14 (71.4 percent); Gonzaga 7 of 10 (70 percent)
- Rebounds: UCLA 14; Gonzaga 11
- Assists: UCLA 8; Gonzaga 13
- Steals: UCLA 2; Gonzaga 5
- Blocks: UCLA 0; Gonzaga 1
- Turnovers: UCLA 5; Gonzaga 4
9:38 p.m.: A Kispert jumper with his feet on the line gives Gonzaga a 45-44 lead heading to halftime. That’s the 11th lead change of the game, including five ties. What. A. Game.
9:37 p.m.: Clark hits the second. And here comes the Zags on the final possession of the half.
9:36 p.m.: Gonzaga takes its first timeout with 27.4 left to go; UCLA’s Johnny Clark will shoot his second free throw out of the break after missing his first. Looks like Few is working something up to end the half on.
9:35 pm.: And a Suggs 3 ties it at 43 . What a first half. Still 45 seconds to go.
9:34 p.m.: A Kispert 3 makes it a one-point game; UCLA leads 41-40. Bruins defense is excellent regardless.
9:34 p.m.: Juzang scores his 13th point on the back half of two free throws to make it 39-35 UCLA.
9:31 p.m.: Ayayi shooting one-and-one out of the timeout. He hits the first to make it 38-35 UCLA.
9:28 p.m.: UCLA still leads 38-34 at the media timeout (2:46).
9:27 p.m.: Just a note that Riley is doing an incredible job defending Timme in the paint. Every shot is contested, every point earned. He’s 3 of 5 shooting with eight points so far.
9:26 p.m.: UCLA takes advantage of Gonzag’s fullcourt press to get Riley a relatively undefended bucket on the other end to make it 38-34 UCLA.
9:22 p.: Ayayi’s layup hung on the rim a looooong time before it finally sunk. Then he gets a steal and dish to Timme who slams it home to make it 36-34 UCLA. A Cronin timeout pauses the action at 3:41.
9:20 p.m.: Timme misses on the front end of a one-and-one, and UCLA rebounds with a chance to extend the lead. … Juzang hits a jumper, but UCLA is called for a foul, sending Suggs to the free throw line on the other end. It’s 34-28 before Suggs’ shots, then 34-30 UCLA after he sinks them both.
9:18 p.m.: UCLA is absolutely committed to taking away Gonzaga’s ability to score in the paint. The Bruins are crashing down whenever Timme, Suggs or Co. try to score.
9:17 p.m.: Juzang with the 3. These teams are scoring in droves. Bruins lead 32-28.
9:15 p.m.: Jaquez scores both of his free throws on the other end to lengthen UCLA’s lead back to 3 at 29-26 .
9:15 p.m.: Watson hits the first of two to close the game to 27-26.
9:14 p.m.: Per the CBS telecast, Gonzaga had trailed a total of 10:09 in NCAA Tournament games prior to its game vs. UCLA. That mark is at 5:34 coming out of the media timeout.
9:11 p.m.: Gonzaga’s Anton Watson is fouled on his layup attempt and will shoot two when the teams come out of the third media timeout (7:57). UCLA leads 27-25.
9:10 p.m.: Juzang hits a 3 from the wing to make it 27-25 UCLA. Back. And. Forth.
9:08 p.m.: But there’s Campbell again, with an and-one! These teams are going back-and-forth early. Campbell makes it 24-23 UCLA.
9:08 p.m.: And then there’s Ayayi to answer with another 3. He has 13 points on 5-of-5 shooting.
9:07 p.m.: Campbell scores an unreal goal to break the 5-0 Gonzaga run; he sinks it with a defender’s hand on the ball as it comes out of his hands.
9:06 p.m.: Gonzaga forces the turnover on the ensuing possession, and Ayayi scores an and-one layup on the other end. He helps Zags retake the lead 20-19 with 10 minutes left in this one. He already has 10 points.
9:06 p.m.: Jaquez misses it, and Gonzaga gets a bucket on the ensuing possession to make it 19-17 UCLA.
9:02 p.m.: Jaquez is fouled on his run to the basket. He’ll have a chance at an and-one coming out of the second TV timeout. It’s currently 19-15 with 10:55 left in the half.
9:02 p.m.: Juzang’s hot streak continues with a big 3. He makes it 17-13 UCLA.
9:01 p.m.: Replay just showed why Suggs was uncomfortable. Jaquez landed with both of his feet on his left ankle. Lucky it didn’t do some lasting damage.
9 p.m.: Campbell sinks the jumper and makes it 14-11 UCLA . He follows that up with a steal to give UCLA the ball.
9 p.m.: Suggs tries to score on the fast break but is met by three Bruins defenders under the rim. Looks to be in mild discomfort and needed to re-tie his shoe under the basket.
8:58 p.m.: Campbell is fouled by Timme and sinks both of his free throws to retake the lead at 12-10. That’s followed by an uncharacteristic unforced turnover by Zags. The Bruins have a chance to extend the lead.
8:57 p.m.: Timme gets the inbound, navigates the defense under the bucket and gets the tough bucket to make it 11-10 Zags.
8:53 p.m.: Gonzaga will have the ball with seven seconds remaining coming out of the first media timeout (14:38).
8:53 p.m.: Jaquez with the corner 3 makes it 10-9 UCLA.
8:51 p.m.: Cody Riley shoots a mid-range jumper with Timme’s hand in his face to tie it 7-7. Both teams shooting well early.
8:49 p.m.: Ayayi gets his third bucket of the day to make it 7-3 Gonzaga . Campbell sold getting charged but the officials weren’t having it.
8:48 p.m.: Juzang starts with a quick 2, followed by an Ayayi 3. Zags lead 3-2 within the first minute.
8:47 p.m.: UCLA wins the tipoff. Here we go.
8:42 p.m.: And Gonzaga’s: Drew Timme, Corey Kispert, Jalen Suggs, Andrew Nembhard, Joel Ayayi.
8:40 p.m.: UCLA starting lineup: Cody Riley, Jaime Jaquez Jr., Jules Bernard, Johnny Juzang, Tyger Campbell.
Gonzaga vs. UCLA start time
- Time: 8:34 p.m. ET | 5:34 p.m. PT
The Final Four game between Gonzaga and UCLA is scheduled to tip off at 8:34 p.m. ET on Saturday, April 3.
How to watch 2021 Final Four
CBS, which has exclusive broadcast rights for the 2021 Final Four, will broadcast both Baylor-Houston and Gonzaga-UCLA on Saturday.
Those with a cable subscription can stream the game on March Madness Live , the online home of every 2021 NCAA Tournament game. The Final Four can also be streamed live with fuboTV, which offers a seven-day free trial .
March Madness Final Four schedule 2021
Saturday, April 3
|No. 1 Baylor 78, No. 2 Houston 59|
|No. 1 Gonzaga 93, No. 11 UCLA 90 (OT)|
NCAA Tournament national championship
Monday, April 5
|Game 67: No. 1 Gonzaga vs. No. 1 Baylor||9:20 p.m.||CBS, fuboTV|