First Four to Final Four: UCLA edges Michigan to win East

Mar 30, 2021; Indianapolis, IN, USA; UCLA Bruins guard Tyger Campbell (10) blocks a pass by Michigan Wolverines guard Mike Smith (12) during the second half in the Elite Eight of the 2021 NCAA Tournament at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Johnny Juzang scored 28 points and 11th-seeded UCLA continued its stunning March Madness run with a 51-49 victory over top-seeded Michigan in the NCAA Tournament’s East Region final on Tuesday night at Indianapolis.

Juzang made 11 of 19 shots from the field and Tyger Campbell added 11 points as the Bruins (22-9) advanced to the Final Four for the first time since 2008. UCLA is 5-0 in the tournament and joins VCU in 2011 as the lone schools to go from the First Four to crashing the Final Four.

Michigan (23-5) had two chances to win in the final seconds.

Mike Smith missed a 3-point attempt that bounced off the rim with 1.8 seconds left. After the ball went out of bounds and was awarded to the Wolverines with 0.5 seconds remaining, Franz Wagner’s 3-point try was off the mark as time expired.

Hunter Dickinson scored 11 points to pace the Wolverines, who missed their last eight field-goal attempts.

UCLA faces top-seeded Gonzaga (30-0) in Saturday’s national semifinals.

“These guys get all the credit,” Bruins coach Mick Cronin told CBS. “Unbelievable heart, toughness. Nobody picked us, nobody believed in us. That’s how we like. Obviously, we know our next assignment is tough.”

A basket by Jules Bernard gave the Bruins a 48-47 lead with 4:04 remaining.

Read More: Gonzaga blows past USC for second Final Four berth

Neither team scored for nearly three minutes before Juzang hit a jumper to make it 50-47 with 1:05 left. Wagner sank two free throws to move Michigan within one with 44 seconds remaining.

Juzang split two free throws with 6.3 seconds remaining to make it a two-point margin.

The Bruins shot 38.9 percent from the field, including 3 of 13 from 3-point range.

Michigan made 39.2 percent of its shots and was 3 of 11 from behind the arc.

UCLA led by four at halftime and quickly increased its advantage to 34-25 as Campbell made two baskets and Juzang hit three free throws after being fouled while shooting a trey attempt with 18:15 left.

Juzang exited 58 seconds later after aggravating a right ankle injury, and the momentum quickly turned as the Wolverines ran off eight straight points. Dickinson began the spurt with two straight baskets before Juzang returned with 15:20 left.

Eli Brooks later drove for baskets on back-to-back possessions as Michigan moved within 34-33 with 12:35 remaining.

A 10-4 run gave Michigan a 43-42 lead on Smith’s 3-pointer with 7:06 left. Campbell and Bernard answered with baskets to give the Bruins a three-point lead before Chaundee Brown Jr. drained a 3-pointer for the Wolverines to tie it at 46 with 5:22 remaining.

Juzang scored 18 points on 8-of-10 shooting as UCLA led 27-23 at the break. The rest of the Bruins were a combined 3 of 18.

At one point, the Bruins missed 10 consecutive shots and trailed 11-4 before Juzang got rolling with a personal run of 12 straight UCLA points.

–Field Level Media