UCLA advances to Final Four after toppling Michigan 51-49

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Wednesday, March 31, 2021
UCLA guard Jules Bernard shoots over Michigan center Hunter Dickinson during the Elite 8 game in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament, March 30, 2021, in Indianapolis.

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (KABC) -- UCLA is heading back to the Final Four for the first time since 2008 after knocking out the favored Michigan 51-49 in dramatic fashion.

The matchup between the 11 and 1 seeds was a tight back-and-forth battle that came literally down to the last second of play.

The Wolverines missed two key three-point attempts in the waning seconds and then had one more possession with just 0.5 seconds on the clock. But the catch-and-shoot attempt clanged off the rim - sending the Bruins onward in the tournament.

UCLA will next face the undefeated Gonzaga Bulldogs, who knocked out USC in a dominating win earlier Tuesday.

The UCLA-Gonzaga Final Four game is Saturday. The other Final Four matchup is No. 1 Baylor vs. No. 2 Houston on the same day.

The national championship is April 5.

UCLA has won 11 national titles, 10 of them during the John Wooden era of the 1960s and '70s, in addition to the most recent one in 1995.

UCLA will be making its 18th appearance in the Final Four, with the previous one in 2008.

USC knocked out

The hopes for an LA-vs-LA matchup in the NCAA's Final Four were crushed Tuesday night when Gonzaga steamrolled over USC in the tournament's Elite Eight round.

The Bulldogs, who went undefeated in the regular season, never let go of the lead to the Trojans. They opened on a 7-0 run, led by 49-30 at the half and finished up 85-66.

This year was the first time both USC and UCLA advanced to the Elite Eight round of the NCAA men's college basketball tournament at the same time.

Some Los Angeles sports fans were hoping the two local schools would face each other in the Final Four.

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