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Pac-12 in NCAA Tournament: UCLA Beats Alabama in OT -- Michigan Next

Pac-12 now 11-1 in NCAA tournament games and will have three teams in Elite Eight
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No. 11 seed UCLA overcame a game-tying three-pointer by Alabama in the final second of regulation time to beat the second-seeded Crimson Tide 88-78 in overtime in an NCAA tournament Sweet 16 game in Indianapolis on Sunday.

The win gives Pac-12 teams an 11-1 record in the NCAA tournament, and guarantees that three Pac-12 teams will be in the Elite Eight. No other conference has more than one. Oregon State clinched an Elite Eight berth on Saturday, and USC beat Oregon for the third Pac-12 berth. That put the Pac-12's NCAA tournament record at 12-2. Los Angeles rivals USC and UCLA are both in the Elite Eight in the same season for the first time ever.

UCLA will face No. 1 seed Michigan (23-4) in an Elite Eight game on Tuesday night. The Wolverines blew out Florida State 76-58 in its Sweet 16 game on Sunday despite being without Isaiah Livers, who will miss the entire NCAA tournament.

David Singleton came off the UCLA bench to score seven points early in the overtime for the Bruins (21-9), who have won four straight games in the NCAA tournament after losing their final four games heading into the tournament.

Alabama's Alex Reese, a 25.2 percent three-point shooter who had missed his only previous three-point shot in the game, hit a long three-pointer with four-tenths of second left in regulation to tie the game 65-65 and send it into overtime.

The Bruins had taken a three-point lead on two Singleton free throws with 4.2 seconds left. Alabama (26-7) inbounded the ball and UCLA was unable to foul before Reese got the ball and took his shot.

But the Bruins bounced back from the disappointment to score the first seven points in overtime, starting with a three-point shot by Singleton. UCLA scored 23 points in the five-minute overtime period after scoring 25 points in the second half.

Alabama, which leads the nation in three-pointers attempted and made, was just 7-for-28 from distance on Sunday. 

A bigger problem was foul shooting.  A decent free-throw shooting team that came into the game hitting 72 percent of its free throws, the Crimson Tide was only 11-for-25 from the line on Sunday. That included two missed free throws by Herbert Jones with 6.8 seconds left in regulation and the Bruins leading by a point.

UCLA was 20-for-25 from the foul line and was 10-for-29 from beyond the arc.

Six UCLA players scored in double figures, led by Jaime Juaquez and Jules Benard with 17 apiece.

Jahvon Quinerly had 20 points for the Tide, but Alabama's leading scorer, Jaden Shackelford, who had 21 points in the second-round win over Maryland, had just four points on 2-for-7 shooting (0-for-2 on three-pointers) and committed five turnovers..

The Bruins shot just 39.2 percent from the field and missed their first 11 shots of the second half, but they committed just eight turnovers, none in the overtime.

UCLA led by 11 points at halftime, but the Bruins came out cold after halftime, helping Alabama score the first 11 points after halftime and tie the score.

UCLA ended the first half on a 20-6 run to take a 40-29 lead at halftime.  Jules Bernard had 13 first-half points for the Bruins, and he converted a four-point play and another three-point shot in the closing moments to lead the UCLA surge.

Alabama  was just 3-for-10 from long range in the first 20 minutes while UCLA was 7-for-15 from distance.

Alabama SEC player of the year Herbert Jones had to go to the bench 41 seconds into the game after picking up his second personal foul. He sat out the next 10 minutes and played only six minutes before halftime. It did not hurt the Tide immediately, though, as Alabama used a 14-0 run to take 15-7 lead. UCLA missed nine shots in a row in that stretch.

Alabama led by as many as eight points midway through the first half, but the Bruins rallied to take a 37-27 lead with 1:19 left in the half when Bernard converted a four-point play. Bernard made another three-point shot with 40 seconds left to extend the UCLA lead to 11 points.

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The Bruins finished fourth in the Pac-12 and had to win three games in five days last week to reach the Sweet 16. UCLA took a four-game losing streak into the NCAA tournament, then eliminated Michigan State in a preliminary-round game, took out sixth-seeded BYU in the first round and dominated Abilene Christian in the second round.


Teams in the Elite Eight from each major conference

Pac-12 -- 3

SEC -- 1

Big Ten -- 1

Big 12 -- 1

WCC -- 1

American -- 1

Big East -- 0

ACC -- 0

Atlantic 10 -- 0

Mountain West -- 0

Missouri Valley -- 0


Cover photo of Jules Bernard by Aaron Doster, USA TODAY Sports.

Follow Jake Curtis of Cal Sports Report on Twitter: @jakecurtis53

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