The First Four matchup between two storied NCAA basketball programs delivered in every way.
Forward Cody Riley was dynamite in overtime, scoring five of his 13 points in the extra frame as UCLA began to pull away in the final two minutes.
Mick Cronin’s team showed a ton of heart after trailing by 11 at halftime. The Bruins outscored the Spartans 53-36 during the second half and overtime.
UCLA advances to the Round of 64, where it will take on No. 6 seed BYU on Saturday night.
Michigan State was the better team throughout the first half, only trailing for a total of 14 seconds.
The Bruins shot 50 percent over the opening 20 minutes but allowed the Spartans to shoot 56.7 percent from the field as Michigan State took a 44-33 lead into the break.
But UCLA came out on fire to start the second half and went on a 12-4 run over the opening 3:05 to cut the deficit to three.
The Spartans kept the Bruins at bay and eventually pushed the lead back to eight with just under 13 minutes left in the game. But UCLA didn’t go away easily.
The Bruins continued to chip away until Jules Bernard’s layup gave UCLA a 67-66 lead, its first since 5:39 into the game.
Unfortunately, Michigan State stormed back to score the next seven points and went up by six going into the final four minutes.
Bernard hit a circus shot as he was fouled and completed the three-point play to get back within one possession.
After Rocket Watts’ jumper pushed the Spartans’ lead back to five, Bruins forward hit a pair of free throws to cut the deficit back to three, setting up the intense finish.
The two teams went back-and-forth over the final minutes. The Spartans led by three with less than a minute to go when Jaquez drew a non-shooting foul. With the Bruins in the bonus, Jaquez went to the free-throw line but missed the first end of a one-and-one.
But the sophomore rebounded his own miss and gave UCLA the extra possession. Tyger Campbell found Jaquez with a beautiful pass, and he converted a three-point play to tie it up at 77-77.
Michigan State’s Aaron Henry had a chance to pull his team ahead, but he air-balled his 15-foot jumper, which gave the Bruins a chance to win it at the buzzer.
But Juzang’s heave from just inside the halfcourt line clanked off the rim, sending the game into overtime.
It’s a big win for the Bruins, but it did come at a cost. Juzang suffered a right ankle injury late in the overtime period and didn’t return.