They almost got it right.

Stage the game 48 hours later, with the same drama, same type of ending and college basketball's one shining moment would have been perfect ending to an imperfect season.

By now, anyone with a pulse regarding college basketball knows what happened at Indianapolis' Lucas Oil Stadium in Saturday night's NCAA Final Four semifinal between Gonzaga and UCLA.

They have seen or heard--in various languages at escalating decibel levels--how Gozaga's Jalen Suggs launched a 45 foot  answered prayer to extend the Zags' perfect season and send them into Monday night's  NCAA title game against Baylor.

They know that the 93-90 overtime victory over UCLA is already being lauded as one of the best--if not the best-- wins in NCAA history, nudging the iconic Duke over Kentucky, Christian Laettner buzzer-beater in the 1992 NCAA East Reginal  final.

I was in-person observer of the Duke victory 29 years ago (OMG). I was a Flat Screen Stadium (bedroom)  viewer on Saturday night. 

Suggs shot wins for a variety of reasons, with a more dramatic and higher stakes (Final Four vs. Regional Final) being the tie breakers.

  Laettner's  shot was impressive, but it was as much the inbounds 55 foot from teammate Grant Hill as the turn around jump shot.

I would venture to say that Laettner would make that shot from the top of the three point circle more than he would miss.

 Sugg' bomb stunned everyone because it was a half court heave, which was emphasized by hitting the backboard at the exact right spot and swishing through the basket as the clock ticked the final seconds.

Anyone who has played the classic kids game of HORSE knows that one of the many rules of the game  is that you have to call the exact shot before you take it, meaning simply making the basket or banking it off the back boards and making it.

But let's look at the bigger picture here.

Why does this win---which gives Gonzaga  a chance at becoming the first team since Indiana in 1976 to complete an unbeaten season--have so much more significance than a buzzer-beater basket?

In a pandemic dominated season where teams, players, coaches and officials are constantly be told what they can NOT do, the UCLA--Gonzaga game was almost devoid of negatives, including the dramatic final seconds.

No major mistakes, no missed shots, no questionable foul calls or turnovers or replays were really factors.

UCLA, a 14 point underdog, did all the right things, including a dramatic game-tying basket by the heroic figure of Johnny Juzang with three seconds remaining in overtime.

Gonzaga was simply the last team with the ball and made one more basket than the Bruins.

The entire game was like that, almost from the start to the wild finish, which created hysterical calls of Suggs' game winning shot in  Russian and Spanish, which you should Google.

Add to the fact that this was not a wild win over Abilene Christian by the Zags, who have been No. 1 all season and beaten all but two of their 31 opponents by double digit margins.

It was UCLA, arguably  the most historic program in the history of college basketball. 

And it came in Indiana, which again arguably be called a cornerstone of basketball history.

So all of those elements melded on Saturday night, which was only missing a full capacity crowd for added atmosphere.

But in the end it was more than enough to elevate the moment into historic territory.

Will there be a letdown against Baylor, the clear leader as a worthy championship game opponent for Gonzaga?


Gonzaga might even lose the game since Baylor is that good and even hungrier than the Zags who have been a Final Four factor over the past several year.

A let down by Coach Mark Few's team would not be stunner, although going for the milestone of the first unbeaten season in 45 years should counter that.

However it plays out will simply add to the mystique of an event which seldom  fails to disappoint.