UCLA’s angry # 1 win over Michigan (# 1) on Tuesday went to 11 in more ways than one. The Bruins were only the second team to advance from the top four to the bottom four and the fifth number after the 2011 VCU 11, which reached the national semifinals. They were led by Johnny Juzang, who hit 11 of his 19 shots from the field to score 28 points.
Fittingly, Juzang scored the final point of his team’s 51:49 victory in a free throw six seconds ahead. Michigan had two shots to win or tie, but Senior Guard Mike Smith missed a three-pointer after bringing the ball up, leaving only 0.5 seconds. The Wolverines retained the possession, but Franz Wagner failed to combine with a desperate shot from beyond the bow.
By winning Region East, UCLA will face Region West Champion Gonzaga, the best overall seed of the tournament, on a national semifinal Saturday.
Aside from Juzang, other Bruins players combined scored 23 points on 10-of-35. Michigan missed its last eight shots and was only 20 of 51 off the field overall. Wagner, a second security guard who piqued the NBA scouts’ interest, walked 1 in 9 off the field while Smith only hit 1 of his 7 shots.
The Wolverines were led by Freshman Center Hunter Dickinson, the team’s lead scorer who had 11 points on 5-of-10. Michigan turned the ball 14 times to eight for UCLA, and the Wolverines hit 6 of 11 free-throw attempts while the Bruins went off the strip 6 for 7.