Julian Strawther's Late 3 Leaves Twitter in Shock as Drew Timme, Gonzaga Beat UCLA
Another UCLA-Gonzaga matchup, another storybook ending.
But unfortunately for the Bruins, it was Gonzaga's Julian Strawther's shot with one second remaining in the game that won it for the Bulldogs 79-76 and sent them to the Elite Eight to take on UConn at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
It looked like UCLA had found a way to steal the game after Amari Bailey knocked down a three with 13 seconds left to put the Bruins up one, but much like the 2021 Final Four matchup between to the two programs, it just wasn't meant to be.
Strawther was an unexpected hero for Gonzaga after struggling for long stretches of the game. He did finish with 16 points but went just 5-of-15 from the field.
In the span of a few seconds, however, he wrote himself into March Madness lore with one of the tournament's most clutch shots, and in front of his hometown crowd no less.
And Twitter could not get enough of it.
But Strawther would've never been in a position to knock down that three-pointer if it wasn't for the play of Gonzaga's star and senior leader Drew Timme.
Trailing by as many as 13 points in the first half, the Bulldogs rode Timme's 36-point, 14-rebound masterclass that helped them storm back, take the lead, almost blow it and then eventually win the game.
He now has the most 20-plus point games in tournament history with 10.
It looked like Timme's performance was going to be wasted in the first half as he scored 19 points but the Bulldogs seemed incapable of stopping a UCLA offense that had three double-digit scorers in the opening 20 minutes.
Timme's teammates combined for just 14 in the opening frame. But he kept the Bruins in the torture chamber all night and eventually got some help in the form of Strawther and Malachi Smith who poured in 14 points and six rebounds.
Timme did miss two late free throws which opened the door for Bailey's shot, but that'll be forgotten after the win.
It's the second-consecutive game in which Timme has had to drag Gonzaga back from a double-digit deficit, the Bulldogs trailed by 10 against TCU in the round of 32.
He refuses to let his illustrious collegiate career end and as the stakes have risen, so has his play.
The Bulldogs won't have a whole lot to celebrate the win as they move on to face UConn, who has looked like perhaps the most complete team in the entire tournament thus far, especially after dominating a talented Arkansas team 88-65 in an earlier game Thursday.
The Huskies have won each of their games by at least 15 points. The two teams will face off Saturday night.
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