Jalen Suggs etched his name into NCAA Tournament history on Saturday night with a buzzer-beater to lift Gonzaga over UCLA in overtime, 93-90. The No. 1 overall-seeded Bulldogs kept their perfect season alive and advanced to the national title game against Baylor.
UCLA tied the game up with less than five seconds to go on a Johnny Juzang lay-up, rallying from five points down in the final minute. But, Suggs was the hero of the night after he raced down the court and drilled a last-second, bank-shot to sink the Bruins.
The Gonzaga freshman celebrated in the pandemonium by running to the sideline and leaping up onto a nearby table as his teammates circled around him.
“It went off the backboard and in and I always wanted to run up on the table like Kobe or D-Wade and go like that…” Suggs said, describing the moments after the buzzer-beater in the postgame press conference.
The Gonzaga freshman might’ve imitated the NBA greats on Saturday night, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t also inspire them. In fact, Dwyane Wade said he celebrated right alongside the 19-year-old.
“I jumped on my kitchen table after you hit this shot bro,” Wade tweeted after seeing Suggs’ press conference answer.
I jumped on my kitchen table after you hit this shot bro 😆 https://t.co/rq6YUo53hI
— DWade (@DwyaneWade) April 4, 2021
Wade wasn’t the only NBA star locked into Saturday’s Final Four game. LeBron James also sent a message to the Gonzaga freshman after the made shot.
“I said SUGGS about to hit this as soon as he crossed half court. GAME!!” James tweeted. “One of the best games I’ve seen in a very long time!!”
I said SUGGS about to hit this as soon as he crossed half court. GAME!!
— LeBron James (@KingJames) April 4, 2021
After Suggs’ heroics, the Bulldogs will try to make history and finish off the perfect season on Monday night against a deep Baylor squad.
Gonzaga will have all of the momentum and will need to lean on their star freshman to walk away with the program’s first ever national championship.
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