David Singleton scored seven of his 15 points in overtime and 11th-seeded UCLA booked a spot in the Elite Eight with a stunning 88-78 overtime victory over second-seeded Alabama on Sunday in the East Region semifinals of the NCAA Tournament at famed Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
Jaime Jaquez Jr. contributed 17 points, eight rebounds and three steals as the Bruins (21-9) won their fourth straight game in the tourney to advance this deep for the first time since 2008. UCLA joins Virginia Commonwealth (2011) as the only schools to play in the First Four and reach the Elite Eight.
UCLA will face top-seeded Michigan (23-4) in Tuesday’s regional final.
Jules Bernard tallied 17 points, Johnny Juzang scored 13 points before fouling out and Tyger Campbell also had 13 for the Bruins. Cody Riley scored 10 points and blocked four shots for UCLA.
Jahvon Quinerly scored 20 points and John Petty Jr. scored 14 of his 16 points after halftime for Alabama (26-7). Keon Ellis added 10 points, nine rebounds and three steals before fouling out.
The Crimson Tide were a porous 11 of 25 from the free-throw line. UCLA made 20 of 25.
The Bruins scored the first seven points of overtime, five coming from Singleton, to take a 72-65 advantage with 2:51 left.
The Crimson Tide moved within 74-70 on a basket by Jones with 2:08 left, but Jaquez answered with a 3-pointer and Singleton followed with two free throws as the Bruins finished off the triumph.
UCLA dominated the overtime after seeing Alabama rally at the end of regulation.
Cody Riley slammed home a dunk with 14 seconds remaining to give the Bruins a 63-62 lead.
Alabama’s Herbert Jones was fouled with 6.8 seconds left and missed both shots. UCLA retrieved the rebound and got the ball to Singleton, who was fouled and made both free throws with 4.2 seconds remaining.
But the Crimson Tide forced overtime when Alex Reese knocked down a long 3-pointer for his first points of the game to tie it at 65 with 0.4 seconds left.
The Crimson Tide shot 43.5 percent from the field, including a shaky 7 of 28 from 3-point range.
UCLA connected on 39.2 percent of its shots and made 10 of 29 from behind the arc.
Alabama trailed by 11 at halftime but began the second with an 11-0 burst to knot the score at 40 on Petty’s dunk with 15:11 left.
The Bruins later received back-to-back putbacks from Riley to take a 60-58 lead with 3:44 remaining. Petty tied the score with a short bank shot with 2:55 left.
Bernard knocked down four 3-pointers and scored 13 points in the first half as UCLA led 40-29 at the break.
–Field Level Media