INDIANAPOLIS - The No. 2-seed Alabama men's basketball team dropped a heartbreaker in overtime to No. 11 seed UCLA, 88-78, in the 2021 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 Sunday night inside Hinkle Fieldhouse. With the loss, the Crimson Tide ended its historic season with a 26-7 overall record.
Alabama, ranked No. 5 in both the Associated Press and USA Today Top 25 polls, trailed by 11 at intermission but stormed back to take the lead midway through the second half. Trailing by three points in the final seconds, senior Alex Reese drilled a three-pointer to send the game into overtime. However, after holding the Bruins (21-9) to just 25 points through the entire second half, UCLA outscored Alabama 23-13 in the extra period to advance to the Elite Eight.
Guard Jahvon Quinerly led all scorers with 20 points off the bench, John Petty Jr. finished with 16 points, while Keon Ellis added 10 points and a game-high nine rebounds.
The Crimson Tide's 26 victories tied the second-most wins in program history, while UA secured the program's first regular season Southeastern Conference championship since 2002, first SEC Tournament title since 1991 and first Sweet 16 appearance since 2004.
- The back-and-forth contest vs. the Bruins featured 11 ties and eight lead changes
- Alabama's bench outscoring UCLA's reserves 37-18, 20 of which came from Quinerly
- Alabama finishes its season 26-7 overall and goes to 21-21 overall in its 21 NCAA Tournament appearances
- Alabama finished tied second overall for wins in program history, just one shy of the school-record 27, set by the 2001-02 team
- The Tide was outscored 23-13 in overtime with 11 of UCLA's points in the extra period coming from the free throw line (11-of-13)
- The 22 shot attempts from Quinerly were the most in his career and most by any UA player in a game this season
- Alabama shot 11-of-25 (44 percent) from the free throw line while the Bruins went 20-of-25 (80 percent) from the charity stripe including 11-of-13 in overtime
- UCLA drew two fouls on Herbert Jones in the first minute of the game and took an early 7-1 lead after the first four and a half minutes of play
- Alabama found its rhythm with a 14-0 run to take a 15-7 lead with 12:05 remaining in the opening stanza
- The Bruins responded with a 9-2 run to regain the 21-20 lead with 9:24 left in the first half
- After trading buckets, UCLA finished the opening stanza on a 15-2 run in the last six minutes to take the 40-29 lead into the locker room
- Quinerly led UA with 10 points off the bench in the first half
- Alabama began the final 20 minutes with an 11-0 run highlighted by a John Petty Jr. dunk that tied the game 40-40 with 15:11 left in the second half
- UCLA used a 9-2 spurt to pull ahead 49-42 with 11:10 left in the second half, but Alabama answered right back with a 9-0 run capped by an emphatic dunk from Juwan Gary that gave the Tide the 51-49 advantage with 7:50 left to play
- The Bruins regained the lead but the Tide drew even at 56-56 with 5:23 to go before UCLA went ahead with a 4-0 spurt to go up 60-58 with 3:44 remaining
- The Tide held a 61-60 lead with 2:26 to play, but UCLA outscored UA 5-1 over the next 2:22 to take a 65-62 lead with four seconds left, setting up Reese's dramatic shot to close regulation
- UCLA opened the extra period on a 7-0 run to take a 72-65 lead in the first minute of overtime
- Alabama cut it to 74-70 with 2:05 left to go, before the Bruins closed on a 7-0 run to seal the 88-78 victory