No. 11 UCLA continues improbable NCAA Tournament run with overtime win vs. No. 2 Alabama in Sweet 16

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Gleeson Guarantees: Best March Madness bets for Monday’s Elite Eight action

SportsPulse: Scott Gleeson picked Virginia to win it all in 2019. He called Loyola-Chicago as a Cinderella in 2018. Now he’s ready to give you his guarantees for Monday’s Elite Eight action.

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UCLA’s improbable men’s NCAA tournament run will continue after the No. 11 seed Bruins upset No. 2 seed Alabama 88-78 in overtime Sunday in Sweet 16 play. 

Cody Riley’s layup with 14 seconds to go after a great feed by Tyger Campbell put the Bruins up 63-62 in regulation. Alabama star Herbert Jones, who was named the Southeastern Conference player of the year, had a chance to give the Crimson Tide the lead when he was fouled with six seconds to go, but he missed both free throws. 

UCLA’s David Singleton made both of his free throws after a foul, but Alabama was able to force overtime when Alex Reese scored his first points of the game, drilling a deep 3-pointer as time expired. 

Despite the shocking end to regulation, UCLA would not be denied in overtime. Singleton and Jaime Jaquez Jr. did the heavy lifting in OT, finishing with 12 of the Bruins’ 23 overtime points. 

Every UCLA starter scored in double figures, led by Jaquez and Jules Bernard with 17 each. Singleton had 15 off the bench. 

The Bruins, who began their run with a victory over Michigan State in the First Four, are into the Elite Eight for the first time since 2008.

There will be three Pac-12 teams in the regional finals, with UCLA joining No. 12 Oregon State, which won the conference tournament before becoming just the second 12-seed to reach the Elite Eight, and the winner of Sunday night’s game between Oregon and USC. 

Alabama, the SEC regular-season and conference tournament champion, was seeking its first Elite Eight appearance since 2004.

UCLA started off hot on Sunday, jumping out to a 7-1 lead, but Alabama turned things up quickly. The Crimson Tide went on a 14-0 run during which the Bruins missed nine straight shots. 

But UCLA began to settle in again and started hitting shots, particularly from deep. The Bruins tied the game at 25 with 6:01 to go in the first half on a 3-pointer by Singleton and the team hit four more triples – including a four-point play by Bernard – before halftime.

That helped the Bruins take a 40-29 lead into halftime. In the first half, UCLA went 7-for-15 from 3-point range.

Jones, who also picked up the SEC defensive player of the year award, saw limited minutes in the first half due to two quick fouls.

The Crimson Tide roared out of the gate after the break, though, quickly erasing their 11-point deficit by going on an 11-0 run to tie the game at 40. 

UCLA would jump back in front but Alabama answered with another run, this time 9-0, to take its first lead since the first half at 51-49. The rest of the game was back-and-forth and saw UCLA leading scorer Johnny Juzang foul out with under three minutes to go. 

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