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Jordan Morey | Special to | March 29, 2021

32 surprising numbers from UCLA's unlikely run to the Elite Eight

UCLA vs. Alabama: Extended highlights from 2021 NCAA tournament

INDIANAPOLIS — Even the most successful program in college basketball history can still experience some firsts in the NCAA tournament.

Gutting out an 88-78 overtime victory at Hinkle Fieldhouse, No. 11 UCLA (21-9) moved past No. 2 Alabama (26-7)  to advance to its first Elite Eight since 2008 on Sunday.

The Bruins will face No. 1 Michigan (23-4) in the East Regional final on Tuesday in Indianapolis, as the Wolverines topped No. 4 Florida State 76-58.

Plenty of numbers stood out during the Bruins’ win over the Crimson Tide, but here are a few that defined the moment:

0.4 — The amount of time left in the second half when Alabama senior Alex Reese knocked down a 3-pointer to tie the game and send it into overtime.

0 — Number of seniors UCLA will dress for the Elite Eight game.

1 — The 2020-21 Bruins are the first team in program history to make a regional final as a double-digit seed.

1 — For the first time in NCAA tournament history, a No. 11 (UCLA) and a No. 12 (Oregon State) seed have both advanced to the Elite Eight.

1 – Number of UCLA national championships since 1975, when John Wooden retired at the end of his 10th championship season. 

2 — UCLA is just the second First Four team in NCAA tournament history to advance all the way to the Elite Eight. VCU accomplished the feat in 2011, making it all the way to the Final Four.

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3 — This year’s Elite Eight will feature three teams from the Pac-12 Conference, the most since the 2001 season.

3 — Number of times a No. 11 seed has defeated a No. 2 seed in NCAA tournament history (LSU over Georgia Tech, 1986; Xavier over Arizona, 2017; UCLA over Alabama, 2021.)

3 — Number of times that two double-digit seeds advanced to the Elite Eight (No. 10 Texas and No. 11 Loyola Marymount, 1990; No. 10 Kent State and No. 12 Missouri, 2002; No. 12 Oregon State and No. 11 UCLA, 2021). None of those double-digit seeds reached the Final Four in 1990 or 2002. 

6 — The number of Bruins with 10 or more points in a NCAA tournament game, the fifth time that has happened in UCLA tournament history. 

7 — UCLA’s total of 3-pointers in the first half, which helped the Bruins build an 11-point lead at halftime.

7 — Unanswered points by the Bruins to start overtime.

8 — Seeding position for the 1980 UCLA Bruins, who defeated No. 1 DePaul, No. 4 Ohio State and No. 6 Clemson on the way to an improbable run to the National Championship Game in Indianapolis.

10 — The number of points UCLA outscored Alabama by in the overtime period.

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10 — Number of coaches to lead UCLA to NCAA appearances since the retirement of John Wooden in 1975.

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10.7 — The average number of 3-point field goals for Alabama, third most in the country. The Crimson Tide made seven against UCLA. 

11 — Times the game was tied between Alabama and UCLA.

11 — UCLA's halftime deficit in its First Four game against Michigan State.

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13 — Years since UCLA last advanced to an Elite Eight.

14 — Turnovers by the Crimson Tide against the Bruins.

15 — Points by UCLA junior David Singleton scored, who averages 4.8 per game.

17 — Years it took for UCLA head coach Mick Cronin to lead a team to the Elite Eight. 

17 — Points each by sophomore Jaime Jaquez Jr. and junior Jules Bernard to lead UCLA.

19 — Number of Final Fours in UCLA history should the Bruins top Michigan on Tuesday.

23 — The number of points UCLA scored in overtime against Alabama.

25.2 — Alex Reese’s 3-point shooting percentage on the season for the Crimson Tide before knocking down the game-tying basket just before the final buzzer.

37 — Bench points for Alabama despite the loss.

44 — Alabama's free throw shooting percentage (11-for-25) in the loss.

50 — Total NCAA tournament appearances by UCLA.

80 — Points by UCLA sophomore Johnny Juzang through four NCAA tournament games in 2021.

110 — UCLA victories in the NCAA tournament. 

2,067 — Miles from Los Angeles to Indianapolis.

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