UCLA stuns Alabama in OT, reaches Elite 8
UCLA Bruins celebrates during the Sweet Sixteen round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament on Sunday, March 28, 2021, at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Ind. UCLA won the overtime game 88-78. Kareem Elgazzar via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Alabama and UCLA put together the game of the day in the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 on Sunday. The teams traded leads and runs, and Alabama needed a 3-pointer at the buzzer in regulation to send the game to overtime. The Bruins dominated in the extra period and won 88-78 to advance to the Elite Eight, where they will take on Michigan.

The Crimson Tide were the No. 2 seed in the region and favored in the game, but they stumbled. So where did they go wrong? They couldn’t make a free throw to save their lives.

The Tide went 11-for-25 (44 percent) at the free throw line in the game. According to ESPN’s Stats and Information, that is the worst mark since Kansas shot 12-for-30 (40 percent) in the championship game against Syracuse in 2003.

That’s really bad.

Perhaps no free throw misses stung more than Herbert Jones missing consecutive free throws with six seconds left and Alabama down 63-62. Had he made his free throws, it would have put pressure on UCLA to deliver a winning basket in regulation. As it was, Jones’ 2-for-7 performance on free throws really hurt 'Bama.

Now UCLA is on to the Elite Eight, which will give the Pac-12 three of the final eight.

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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