INDIANAPOLIS — Gonzaga point guard Jalen Suggs waited until after the pinnacle of the Bulldogs’ historic season to act his age.
A smiling and beaming Suggs couldn’t help but relive his buzzer-beating three-pointer in the most 19-year-old, awestruck way possible.
Suggs was asked by reporters in the postgame news conference about his heroics in the Final Four on Saturday — which led to a 93-90 overtime victory over UCLA to send the undefeated Zags to the national championship game.
“That’s something that you practice on a mini hoop as a kid or in (the) gym,” Suggs said. “To be able to do that is crazy. One of (the) most special games I’ve ever been a part of it. One I’ll look back on and re-watch.”
Jalen Suggs celebrates his game-winning 3-pointer that preserved Gonzaga's perfect season. (Photo: Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY Sports)
Cue Suggs’ rendition of the final sequence, which began after the Bruins’ Johnny Juzang scored a put-back layup with three seconds left:
“Johnny got the miss (and scored off the miss) and Corey (Kispert) took it out right away,” Suggs recounted.
“Corey, Corey come here,” Suggs said of telling Kispert to get him the ball quickly.
“I took as many dribbles as I could to get as close as I could,” Suggs continued. “(The UCLA defender) was actually right under me. I was fading away with it. Dude, it went off backboard and in.”
Suggs’ table-topping celebration came next. “I’ve always wanted to run up on the table and go like Kobe and D-Wade (showing the jersey to the fans). That’s the first thing I did.”
Then Suggs’ teammates swarmed him — accordingly, near the table.
Gonzaga coach Mark Few, who was seen smirking on television cameras after the shot banked in, said of Suggs' game-winner: “I knew when he shot it, it was going in.”
Suggs, a second-team All-American and projected NBA draft lottery pick, finished with 16 points and six assists.
He had another crucial play with two minutes left in regulation when he blocked UCLA big man Cody Riley and then launched a pinpoint bounce pass the length of the court to teammate Drew Timme, who flushed it home for a dunk. That sequence gave Gonzaga a two-point edge in the back-and-forth affair.
Follow college basketball reporter Scott Gleeson on Twitter @ScottMGleeson
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