The Sports Report: UCLA stumbles in second half and loses to Gonzaga

Las Vegas, NV, Thursday, March 23, 2023 - UCLA Bruins guard Tyger Campbell (10) is stripped of the ball.
Tyger Campbell is stripped of the ball as he attempts a shot in the last seconds.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.

From Ben Bolch: From on top of the college basketball world to deflated, momentarily back on top only to be heartbroken once more.

There couldn’t have been a bigger swing of emotions than UCLA experienced Thursday night at T-Mobile Arena against a most aggravating antagonist.

The Bruins lost a 13-point lead to Gonzaga early in the second half of their NCAA tournament West Regional semifinal, falling behind by 10. They stormed all the way back, surging ahead by one point on Amari Bailey’s fearless three-pointer with 12.4 seconds left.


Only to be undone by another dagger shot through the heart.

Two years after Jalen Suggs, there was Julian Strawther.

Trailing his teammates, Strawther took a flip pass from Hunter Salis and buried a 35-footer with six seconds left to lift third-seeded Gonzaga to a breathless 79-76 victory over the second-seeded Bruins.

UCLA had two more chances to save its season. It couldn’t convert either.

His team down by two points, UCLA’s Tyger Campbell had the ball stripped for a rare turnover and the Bruins fouled Strawther, who missed the first free throw and made the second. The Bruins’ inbounds pass went to big man Kenneth Nwuba at midcourt, where he found Campbell for a three-pointer at the buzzer that was off the side of the rim.

For the second time in three years, the Bruins’ season ended in the cruelest fashion. For a breathless moment, it had seemed they might have persevered through it all. Down by 10 points with 2:40 left, UCLA (31-6) ran off a 14-3 run ending in Bailey’s three-pointer. It wasn’t enough.

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Plaschke: UCLA goes from brilliant to broke as history cruelly repeats itself vs. Gonzaga

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Men’s tournament results, schedule
All times Pacific

Sweet 16


West Regional

No. 3 Gonzaga 79, No. 2 UCLA 76

No. 4 UConn 88, No. 8 Arkansas 65

East Regional

No. 3 Kansas State 98, No. 7 Michigan State 93 (OT)

No. 9 Florida Atlantic 62, No. 4 Tennessee 55



South Regional

No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 5 San Diego State, 3:30 p.m., TBS

No. 6 Creighton vs. No. 15 Princeton, 6 p.m., TBS

Midwest Regional

No. 1 Houston vs. No. 5 Miami, 4:15 p.m., CBS

No. 2 Texas vs. No. 3 Xavier, 6:45 p.m., CBS

Elite 8

East Regional
No. 3 Kansas State vs. No. 9 Florida Atlantic, 3 p.m., TBS

West Regional
No. 3 Gonzaga vs. No. 4 UConn, 5:45 p.m., TBS

Women’s tournament

All times Pacific

Sweet 16



Greenville 2 Regional

No. 4 Villanova vs. No. 9 Miami, 11:30 a.m., ESPN

No. 2 Utah vs. No. 3 LSU, 2 p.m., ESPN

Seattle 2 Regional

No. 2 Iowa vs. No. 6 Colorado, 4:30 p.m., ESPN

No. 5 Louisville vs. No. 8 Ole Miss, 7 p.m., ESPN


Greenville 1 Regional

No. 2 Maryland vs. No. 3 Notre Dame, 8:30 a.m., ESPN

No. 1 South Carolina vs. No. 4 UCLA, 11 a.m., ESPN

Seattle 1 Regional


No. 2 Baylor vs. No. 3 Ohio State, 1 p.m., ABC

No. 1 Virginia Tech vs. No. 4 Tennessee, 3:30 p.m., ESPN2


From Andrew Greif: The image that returned Wednesday from the scan of Paul George’s injured right knee provided about as good of news as the Clippers could have hoped: George’s awkward land Tuesday after grabbing a rebound did not damage any ligaments – and the All-Star forward is not expected to need surgery, either.

What isn’t any clearer is whether George could be available during the playoffs.

With only three games separating fourth through 12th in the Western Conference standings entering Thursday, there is no guarantee whether the Clippers — 127-105 winners over Oklahoma City on Thursday — will advance directly to a seven-game first-round series, or fall back into the play-in tournament. How long the Clippers stay alive matters for any potential return to action.

Clippers teammate Terance Mann took the diagnosis as “definitely better than what it could have been” after watching George’s right knee bend backward.

“Everybody’s kind of feeling better about it,” Mann said, “and knowing that we could potentially get him back is good.”

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From Dan Woike: LeBron James’ recovery from a foot injury has continued to progress, the latest update saying he has begun on-court activity.


The Lakers’ star and league’s all-time leading scorer hasn’t played since Feb. 26 when he injured his right foot in the second half of the Lakers’ eventual win over Dallas. James hit the floor and said he heard “a pop,” but he was able to finish the game.

James spent significant time in a protective boot on the foot before recently shooting on the court for the first time since the injury.

The team said Thursday that James had begun “a gradual basketball movement progression” but that there was no timetable for a return.

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Elliott: D’Angelo Russell brought the energy in win over Suns. But he’s also ‘at peace’

The story behind Anthony Davis’ ‘dominant’ third quarter in Lakers’ win over Suns


Western Conference

Top six qualify for the playoffs. Nos. 7-10 qualify for tournament to determine final two playoff teams.

1. y-Denver Nuggets, 49-24
2. y-Memphis Grizzlies, 45-27, 3.5 GB
3. Sacramento Kings, 43-29, 5.5 GB
4. Phoenix Suns, 38-34, 10.5 GB
5. Clippers, 39-35, 10.5 GB
6. Golden State Warriors, 38-36, 11.5 GB
7. Minnesota Timberwolves, 37-37, 12.5 GB
8. Dallas Mavericks, 36-37, 13 GB
9. Lakers, 36-37, 13 GB
10. New Orleans Pelicans, 36-37, 13 GB
11. Oklahoma City Thunder, 36-37, 13 GB
12. Utah Jazz, 35-37, 13.5 GB
13. Portland Trail Blazers, 32-40, 16.5 GB
14. e-San Antonio Spurs, 19-54, 30 GB
15. e-Houston Rockets, 18-55, 31 GB

y-clinched division title; e-eliminated from playoff contention.


From Jack Harris: James Outman thought he would cry or have some other emotional response to the news he had been hoping to get all spring.

But when he was finally told Thursday morning that he had made the Dodgers’ opening day team, filling the club’s last position player roster spot following a standout performance in camp, the rookie outfielder instead sat in manager Dave Roberts’ office almost in a daze.

He needed a moment to let the gravity of the accomplishment sink in.

“I was kind of just like, ‘Whoa,’ ” Outman said hours later, speaking to reporters shortly after Roberts publicly announced the decision. “It was pretty surreal. Kind of felt like a dream, like, ‘Did that really just happen?’ ”

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‘Field like Ozzie. Run Like Rickey:’ Watch MLB ads to promote new rules


From Kevin Baxter: Matthew Stafford’s four young daughters have seen their dad win a Super Bowl and set three franchise passing records as quarterback of the Rams. They’ve watched as he and his teammates were cheered and booed, exalted and excoriated.

But what they never had seen before last May were women athletes competing the same way in a sold-out stadium. That changed when Stafford and his wife Kelly took their girls to an Angel City game on Mother’s Day.

“It was our first experience and we kind of fell in love with it,” Stafford said.

So much so that the family just bought part of the team, becoming the latest members of a massive ownership group that includes more than 100 investors, from Alexis Ohanian and America Ferrera to Abby Wambach and Serena Williams.

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From Jorge Castillo: It was a Tuesday, another sparring day for Seniesa Estrada. Her next fight, a title unification bout, was less than a month away.


The lights brightened at 4:29 p.m. The flags for 12 nations hung above. Inspirational quotes were plastered on the walls. A canvas of Muhammad Ali standing over Sonny Liston adorned the wall behind the ring. This is Estrada’s sanctuary, a space she has owned for four years, an accomplishment even she didn’t imagine possible.

Estrada was a confident girl when she first stepped into a boxing gym at 8 years old, and she maintained that confidence as she entered the spotlight over the next few years. She already kept a list of lofty goals. Fight on television. Sign with the biggest promoter. Become world champion. It did not matter that women’s professional boxing was dormant. It was going to happen.

Owning a gym wasn’t on her wish list, but it might best illustrate Estrada’s rise. She was the only girl when she showed up at a gym in East L.A. to box for the first time. She was determined. Everyone else thought she was delusional.

“Once I started,” Estrada said, “I was like, ‘I know I’m not crazy. It’s doable.’ ”

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Adam Lowry scored the tiebreaking goal with 9:13 to play and the Winnipeg Jets made progress in the playoff race with a 3-2 victory over the Ducks on Thursday night.

After Frank Vatrano tied it for Anaheim early in the third with a power-play goal, Lowry put the Jets back ahead with a short redirection of a pass from Brenden Dillon for his third goal in four games.


Cam Fowler also scored and Lukas Dostal stopped 30 shots for the lottery-bound Ducks, who dropped to 1-4-1 on their eight-game homestand with their third consecutive defeat.


1936 — Detroit’s Mud Bruneteau ends the longest game in NHL history with a goal after 116 minutes and 30 seconds (six overtimes) to edge the Montreal Maroons 1-0 in the semifinals of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

1941 — Long Island University wins the NIT championship with a 56-42 victory over Ohio.

1945 — NYU battles back from a ten-point deficit with two minutes to go to send the NCAA Tournament national semifinal game into overtime. NYU wins 70-65. At the time, a team got one free throw when fouled near end of game, but could elect instead to inbound the ball. Ohio State is fouled three times, opts to shoot the foul shot and misses each time.

1956 — San Francisco’s Bill Russell has 26 points and 27 rebounds to lead the Dons to an 83-71 win over Iowa and their second-straight national title and 55th consecutive victory, then an NCAA record.

1962 — Paul Hogue scores 22 points and grabs 19 rebounds and Tom Thacker adds 21 to lead Cincinnati to a 71-59 victory over Ohio State for its second NCAA basketball championship.

1970 — Jerry West of the Lakers wins his only NBA scoring title, accumulating 2,309 points in 74 games for a 31.2 ppg. average.


1973 — Kansas City-Omaha’s Nate “Tiny” Archibald becomes the first player in NBA history to lead the NBA in both scoring (34.0 ppg.) and assists (11.4 apg.) in the same season.

1975 — Muhammad Ali knocks out Chuck Wepner in the 15th round to retain the world heavyweight title in Cleveland.

1975 — Princeton becomes the first Ivy League school to win the NIT title with an 80-69 win over Providence.

1979 — Indiana State, led by Larry Bird, advances to the NCAA Championship game by squeezing past DePaul 76-74. Bird has 35 points, 16 rebounds and 9 assists.

1980 — Louisville beats UCLA 59-54 to win the NCAA basketball title.

1992 — Pittsburgh’s Mario Lemieux becomes the 36th player in NHL history with 1,000 points, getting an assist in the second period of the Penguins’ 4-3 loss to the Detroit Red Wings.

1994 — Kansas State’s Askia Jones scores 62 points in 28 minutes in a 115-77 victory over Fresno State in the NIT quarterfinals. Jones shoots 18-for-25 from the floor, including 14-of-18 on three-pointers, and 12-for-16 from the line.


2013 — Florida Gulf Coast goes from shocking the men’s college basketball world to downright impressing it. The Eagles beat San Diego State 81-71 to become the first No. 15 seed to reach the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament.

2017 — Devin Booker scores 70 points, becoming the sixth different player in NBA history to reach that total, but the Boston Celtics get 34 points from Isaiah Thomas and outlast the Phoenix Suns 130-120.

2018 — Nathan Chen completes six quadruple jumps in the free program to become the first U.S. winner of the men’s world figure skating title since 2009.

2018 — Loyola Chicago romps to a 78-62 victory over Kansas State to cap off a stunning run through the bracket-busting South Regional. The Ramblers (32-5) match the lowest-seeded team ever to reach the Final Four, joining LSU (1986), George Mason (2006) and VCU (2011). The South is the first regional in tournament history to have the top four seeds — including overall No. 1 Virginia — knocked out on the opening weekend.

2019 — 2-time AL MVP Mike Trout signs the biggest contract in North American sports history with the Angels.

2020 — Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzō Abe announces postponement of Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games because of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.


—Compiled by the Associated Press

And finally...

Loyola of Chicago advances to the Final Four in 2018. Watch and listen here.

Until next time...

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