SPOKANE, Wash. — The No. 1 ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs will be facing off against the No. 2 ranked UCLA Bruins again in what is considered to be one of the most highly anticipated college basketball games of the year.
The last time these two teams met was in April 2021, where Jalen Suggs’s buzzer beater pushed the Zags past UCLA in last season’s NCAA tournament.
Leading up to that game, Gonzaga had won 27 games by double digits, an NCAA record. They also set another record that year after winning at least 30 games in five straight seasons.
At the time, Gonzaga still held the No. 1 seed while UCLA was ranked at No. 11. However, the Bruins pulled all the stops against the Zags that day, as UCLA’s Johnny Juzang put up 31 points, including a tying basket with 3.3 seconds left in overtime.
With the score knotted at 90, Jalen Suggs received a pass and made a beeline for the Bruins’ basket. With no time to lose, Suggs sent the ball from just past midcourt, as it banked off the backboard and into the net before the buzzer sounded.
As the Bruins stood dumbfounded and devastated, the Zags mobbed Jalen Suggs while head coach Mark Few just smiled and shook his head.
“We made a lucky one at the end but I’m just telling you he makes those ones all the time in practice when we practice late-game situations," Few said postgame. "He’s just got this magical aura. I knew when he shot it, it was going in.”
Suggs called the game his greatest sports moment ever.
"I still can’t speak... I don’t think it’s really going to hit me until a wake up tomorrow," Suggs said during a postgame press conference.
“That’s what March is all about,” Drew Timme added.
Now ranked a step behind the Zags, UCLA is eager to get another chance at the championship finalists. Juzang and Jaime Jaquez Jr. are two of the highest-profile players in the country heading into this season. Senior Jules Bernard played in all 32 games last season, averaging 10.3 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.6 assists a game.
The game starts Tuesday, Nov. 23 at 7 p.m. at T-Mobile arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.