Two extremely ranked groups and a raucous crowd packed into historic Pauley Pavilion positive made it seem to be it was already March Madness.
It’s not simply but, though No. 2 UCLA backed up its Final Four run final spring with an 86-77 additional time victory towards fourth-ranked Villanova on Friday evening.
“We love these video games,” mentioned Johnny Juzang, the NCAA Tournament star who scored 25 factors. “This is the place we now have essentially the most enjoyable. It’s a blast.”
The Bruins overcame a 10-point, second-half deficit earlier than taking management in additional time.
“They gutted it out and we did not,” Villanova coach Jay Wright mentioned.
Jules Bernard banked in a jumper that tied it at 67 with 30 seconds to go to power additional time, when over 13,000 cheering, chanting followers remained on their ft till the ultimate buzzer.
“We had been relentless however their efforts had been relentless, too,” Bruins coach Mick Cronin mentioned. “Nobody ought to have misplaced this sport.”
The Bruins appeared they had been going to after they fell behind by 10. But they rallied over the ultimate 5 1/2 minutes of regulation whereas holding the Wildcats at 67.
After attending to the road simply seven instances in regulation, the Bruins made all 12 of their free throws within the five-minute additional session, after they outscored the Wildcats 19-10.
Caleb Daniels missed two 3-pointer makes an attempt and Collin Gillespie missed a layup earlier than Jermaine Samuels hit a 3 within the closing seconds.
“They simply made loads of nice performs in direction of the tip,” Samuels mentioned. “Those are the performs that you simply’ve acquired to get they usually acquired them.”
Jaime Jaquez Jr. added 21 factors and 13 rebounds and Bernard completed with 16 factors for UCLA (2-0).
Samuels scored 20 factors and Gillespie scored 18 factors to steer Villanova (1-1).
The Wildcats, 2018 nationwide champions, had their share of supporters below UCLA’s file 11 nationwide championship banners.
“It was a fantastic sport,” Wright mentioned. “Great environment. This place is superior.”
Cronin added, “I instructed Jay, ‘Let’s simply do it once more tomorrow.’ Doesn’t get significantly better than that.”
Neither staff gave an inch till halfway by means of the second half.
Leading by one, the Wildcats outscored the Bruins 11-2 to take the sport’s first double-digit lead, 60-50. Four completely different gamers scored within the spurt, with Eric Dixon’s three-point play getting it going. Samuels dunked and Justin Moore and Gillespie made consecutive 3-pointers.
Three instances the Bruins acquired inside two over the ultimate 4 minutes — the final when Juzang made a pair of free throws to path 67-65. Moore missed a layup with 0.2 seconds left that pressured additional time.
The sport was the earliest matchup by date between AP top-five groups at a campus web site within the historical past of the ballot that started in 1948-49, in response to ESPN Stats & Info. It additionally was the primary nonconference matchup between two top-five groups in Pauley Pavilion since March 1, 1992, when then-No. 4 UCLA misplaced to top-ranked Duke.
The Wildcats settled down after an early deficit and outscored the Bruins 24-15, together with 10 straight factors, to finish the half. They took their first lead of the sport on a 3-pointer by Gillespie, the primary of three treys in a row throughout the spurt.
Villanova: The Wildcats face powerful opponents within the subsequent a number of weeks, and the entire video games are on the street. Next up is No. 18 Tennessee, adopted by both No. 7 Purdue or No. 19 North Carolina — all within the Hall of Fame Classic. No. 8 Baylor hosts the Wildcats in early December.
UCLA: The Bruins are lower than two weeks away from a sport towards No. 1 Gonzaga in Las Vegas. Between Villanova and the Zags, they will discover out in a short time what they’re fabricated from. The pupil part chanted, “We need Gonzaga!” as the sport ended. “We heard that chant for positive,” Jaquez mentioned.
Wright and Cronin have recognized one another for years. Villanova confronted Cronin-coached Cincinnati eight instances as Big East opponents. They gained 4 video games apiece. The coaches’ friendship was an enormous motive why the sport was scheduled.
“There’s only a few guys as safe as Jay Wright,” Cronin mentioned. “He’s not getting fired. He’s acquired two titles. You acquired to search out any person like that’s prepared to return West. I’m very appreciative of that.”
THERE’S HISTORY HERE
The groups had been assembly for the sixth time. The first was within the 1971 nationwide championship sport on the Houston Astrodome, with UCLA beating Villanova 68-62. Bill Walton, a sophomore on that staff, attended the most recent assembly. Future NBA participant and coach Chris Ford was on the Wildcats’ roster.
IN THE CROWD
Dodgers supervisor Dave Roberts, a UCLA alum, sat courtside along with his daughter and posed for pictures with followers at halftime. … Cedric the Entertainer and actor Jessica Alba, the daughter-in-law of UCLA nice Mike Warren, and Jamaal Wilkes had been readily available. … Boxing announcer Michael Buffer took middle court docket earlier than tipoff to proclaim, “Let’s get able to rumble.”
Villanova: Hosts Howard on Tuesday within the groups’ third-ever assembly.
UCLA: Hosts Long Beach State on Monday within the third of 4 straight dwelling video games.
Source: Fox News