Does Gonzaga's Suggs block vs. UCLA top buzzer beater?
The Jalen Suggs half court game winner might be one of the best plays in college basketball history but was it even the best play of the game?
It was the shot heard round the world, the one you draw up and recreate in your drive way day after day. The perfect ending to one of college basketball’s greatest games ever. Jalen Suggs will forever be remembered for the semi-final winning half court buzzer beater over UCLA. But was that the greatest play of his career? Was it even his greatest play of that game?
Suggs one of the early favorites for top pick in NBA Draft
Jalen Suggs has made headlines all year. The former high school football star was in talks of potentially being taken as the first pick in this years NBA Draft. Over the last month, the Gonzaga guard’s stock has sky rocketed as he continues to build his case for the top selection come late July.
Suggs is averaging 13 points and 5.5 rebounds a game in the tournament. It’s true that he has taken a back seat to his teammate Drew Timme, who has been on a tear in the tournament over the last five games. But Suggs is the one who continue climb the mock drafts in the eyes of the experts around the league.
The NBA scouts have been raving about semi-final hero for months, and now he’s at the tip of every casual sports fans tongue after Saturday night’s heroics. But my question is, was it the play of the night?
Just under two minutes left in the second half, game tied at 77. Gonzaga were reeling after giving up the largest lead of the game a bit earlier in the second half, while UCLA’s momentum was growing as they had new life. Cody Riley was left with an open lane to the rack after a perfect pass from the baseline from Tyger Campbell.
It would have been the easiest two points of the game for Riley if the 6’4” Jalen Suggs hadn’t sprung from behind and denied the 6’9” Bruin big man. Suggs collected the rebound and dished out a perfect length of the court bounce pass into the path of Drew Timme for the fast break dunk.
A 4 point swing in favor of the Zags in a matter of seconds, just when UCLA were looking like the game was swinging in their favor. The Jalen Suggs buzzer beater was what won the game for the Bulldogs, but the Jalen Suggs block and assist was what brought the game to overtime.
Gonzaga’s game winner to reach the 2021 National Championship will be on the college basketball highlight reel for centuries to come but without Jalen Suggs defensive heroics with two minutes to go there never would have been a half court game winning buzzer beater that will be remembered as one of the greatest shots in NCAA basketball history.