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Video: UCLA is added to Final Four on giant March Madness bracket in Indianapolis

Lisa Moeller takes a photo of the NCAA bracket for the NCAA tournament on the side of the JW Marriott in Indianapolis.
A spectator takes a photo of the NCAA tournament bracket on the side of the JW Marriott in downtown Indianapolis.
(Darron Cummings / Associated Press)

UCLA is now officially in the Final Four.

Well, technically the Bruins’ inclusion in the biggest weekend of college basketball was official Tuesday night, when they knocked off top-seeded Michigan in the East Regional final of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.

But it became officially official Wednesday morning, when a 4-by-25-foot UCLA sticker was affixed to the Final Four portion of the giant March Madness bracket on the side of the JW Marriott in Indianapolis, host city of the tournament.

Soon after, workers set about placing a similar Gonzaga sticker above UCLA on the 47,000-square foot graphic. The Bruins and Zags will play Saturday at 5:34 p.m. PDT for the right to play for the NCAA title Monday night.

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The other side of the Final Four bracket features Baylor and Houston, who will play Saturday at 2:14 p.m. PDT for the other spot in the championship game.

The Times’ Ben Bolch wrote all about the massive display earlier this month:

The hotel had a smaller graphic attached to it in 2015, when the Final Four was held here. This year’s version is super-sized in celebration of the NCAA tournament’s return after a one-year hiatus because of the pandemic, a banner across the top — “Indiana: Where champions are crowned” — serving as a nod to Hoosier hysteria.

Frank M. Hancock, whose Indianapolis-based sports graphics company updates the bracket each morning, said it took nearly 5½ days to attach the 180-by-260-foot banner to the hotel.

The 11th-seeded Bruins answered the call of UCLA basketball history by charging back to the Final Four with a 51-49 victory over top-seeded Michigan.

It’s become quite the attraction, teams posing for pictures on top of a parking garage across the street from the hotel with the bracket in the background. Hancock said he constantly fields emails from fans asking when their school is going to go up after each win.

A sign honoring the Bruins as the Eastern Regional champions has been printed and will be hung inside Lucas Oil Stadium, where the Final Four will take place.


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