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Bruins Suffer 73-66 Loss to UNC in NCAA Sweet 16

Mar 25, 2022
The Bruins dropped a 73-66 decision to North Carolina (photo by Jan Kim Lim)

PHILADELPHIA – The No. 4-seed UCLA men's basketball team lost to No. 8-seed North Carolina, 73-66, before a crowd of 20,136 in the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16 at Wells Fargo Center on Friday night.
The Bruins (27-8) season came to an end with the loss. Jules Bernard finished with a team-leading 16 points. Tyger Campbell finished with 15 points and six assists, Johnny Juzang scored 14 points, and Jaime Jaquez Jr. totaled 10 points.

Friday Night's Postgame Press Conference: Coach Cronin | UCLA's Student-Athletes
North Carolina (27-9) advanced to the East Region final, also known as the Elite Eight, and will take on No. 15-seed Saint Peter's on Sunday in Philadelphia.
UCLA led North Carolina at halftime, 31-28. UNC's Caleb Love finished with a game-high 30 points, scoring 27 in the second half. He was one of four Tar Heels to have scored at least 10 points in Friday's game.
Among the more crucial plays in the game took place with under two minutes to play and UCLA lead, 64-61. A 3-point attempt by Love careened off the rim and appeared to be headed out of bounds. UNC's Armando Bacot saved the loose ball, tossed it to Love for another chance from beyond the 3-point arc. Love's second attempt was successful, tying the contest at 64-64.
"Yeah, that play was a crucial play, I think, down the stretch," said Jaquez Jr. "They got hot. They started making tough shots and it happens like that sometimes. It is what it is."
After Jaquez Jr. missed a 3-point shot at the Bruins' offensive end, Love drilled his sixth 3-pointer of the game with 1:06 remaining, helping to put North Carolina ahead 67-64.
UNC held the lead the rest of the way. Bacot tipped in a missed jumper by R.J. Davis with 22 seconds left, helping the Tar Heels secure a 69-64 cushion.
The Bruins were forced to foul from there on out. North Carolina made all four of its free throw attempts down the stretch.

"Yeah, they're heartbroke," said Mick Cronin, The Michael Price Family Head UCLA Basketball Coach. "But like I tell them, we all play at UCLA, we practice under the pyramid of success, and true greatness is giving your best effort. Give your best effort to get your degree, be a good person, be a good teammate. They've restored UCLA to the national scene."
UCLA was paced by the outstanding play of Bernard, who finished with 16 points. He tied Darrick Martin (1989-92) for the No. 43 slot on the school's all-time scoring list with 1,195 career points. Bernard seemed to score at will for most of the game. He made 7 of 11 shot attempts and was 2-for-5 from beyond the 3-point arc.
Jaquez Jr. played 38 minutes on Friday against the Tar Heels after having sustained a sprained ankle last Saturday in the team's win over Saint Mary's.

UCLA owned the edge in shooting on the evening, going 45% (28 of 62) compared to 41% (27 of 66) for the Tar Heels. Although the Bruins led for most of the game (26:49 to just 8:20 for UNC), one of the key stats came in second-chance points, where the Tar Heels owned a 19-6 advantage.
Neither team led by more than eight points and there were 14 lead changes in the contest.
"The truth is we had a lot of good execution and the ball didn't go in," added Cronin. "Our last three threes were wide open. We got Jaime the ball down low. He's delivered for us all year time and time again. He got to his right hand and missed a two-footer, just rolled out on him. Johnny missed a couple. Jaime had a couple clean looks that just didn't go in, and Caleb Love made good shots."