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Jalen Suggs #1 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs celebrates with teammates after making a game-winning three point basket in overtime to defeat the UCLA Bruins 93-90 during the 2021 NCAA Final Four semifinal at Lucas Oil Stadium on April 03, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
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It Was Historically Great… And Man, That Sucks

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Proud, Inspired, and hopeful are all ways that I can describe how the 2020-2021 UCLA Bruins men’s basketball team made me feel.

Frustrated, hurt and sad are also ways that can describe that same team after Saturday night’s instant Final Four Classic with Gonzaga.

Gonzaga is the better team but on Saturday night they were not. That isn’t to suggest that UCLA was better on Saturday or even that they should of won. That is how close that game was.

Forty minutes couldn’t decide this game. The five extra minutes almost wasn’t enough to decide it either.

Gonzaga had the ball last and made and made a shot that will be talked about and shown for decades to come. UCLA didn’t have a chance to answer and just like that, it was over.

Watching this as a die hard fan while trying to broadcast a Sacramento Kings game was difficult. The pain lingered into Sunday and honestly is still here now.

Those closest to me have said things like, “don’t worry, UCLA will be good for years to come.” This all could be very true but winning it all is very difficult. Just look at Gonzaga who has had a great program for nearly two decades and this is just their 2nd trip to the title game and they are still looking for their first championship.

That is what made this run so special for UCLA. It wasn’t expected, I knew it could end at anytime and they just kept defying odds while playing the best basketball at the most important time.

Going forward, I will be rooting for Gonzaga as they chase their own piece of history. I also will be keeping a close on Jalen Suggs. I am a big fan of his and personally think he will be a great NBA player.

I hope he goes on to a great Hall of Fame career so that when that shot gets shown again, and again, and again, I can at least say that they lost to a historically great player and team.

It is tough to be on the wrong side of such a great play. Over the past two days, all I have seen is how great of a game that was.

As a fan of UCLA the hurt is real, as a fan of sport, I can appreciate that moment and the impact that game may have had on the sport. Thank you to Gonzaga and UCLA for reminding us all how great sports can be.

This wasn’t about one team failing, a coach making a bad decision, a referee call, this was just an awesome game.

I am glad that I saw it, I hoped for a different outcome but that truly was a classic.


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