Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Congratulates UCLA Bruins on Historic March Madness Win; Calls Out Charles Barkley

Published 03/31/2021, 1:00 PM EDT
Mar 30, 2021; Indianapolis, IN, USA; The UCLA Bruins celebrate after beating the Michigan Wolverines in the Elite Eight of the 2021 NCAA Tournament at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports


The best part about March Madness is the upsets, and the 2021 edition has had plenty. Neutral fans love to watch unfancied teams make deep runs, and the UCLA Bruins are this year’s Cinderella. Last night, they defeated the Michigan Wolverines, who were a favorite to win the title.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

In what was supposed to be a seeding mismatch, the #11 seed Bruins pipped the #1 seed, the Wolverines, by one point. After the win, Hall of Famer and Bruins legend, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, congratulated his alma mater. “I loved watching every minute of the game tonight,” he wrote on Twitter.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

He recollected the UCLA vs Michigan clash from back in 1965 when he was in high school. The Bruins cruised to an 11-point win in that game, and Kareem wanted something similar tonight. Instead, it was a nail-biting game, but the Bruins prevailed ultimately.

Jabbar also called pointed out how Charles Barkley was wrong for his predictions. In the pre-game analysis, Barkley had said that the Wolverines were too big for the Bruins to deal with. So he fancied the #1 seed to overcome the #11 seed. However, the Bruins proved that size is only a number, and heart matters more when winning the game.

UCLA Bruins upset the Michigan Wolverines in March Madness thriller

The Wolverines entered the tournament as one of the favorites. They had an impressive season until this game. Led by coach Juwan Howard, the Wolverines won the Big Ten regular-season title after being predicted to finish ninth.

So they came into the tie as the obvious favorites, but the Bruins didn’t care for the ranking disparity. They played solid defense right from the start, and despite being a low-scoring game, they provided entertainment throughout the match.

Mar 30, 2021; Indianapolis, IN, USA; The UCLA Bruins celebrates after beating the Michigan Wolverines in the Elite Eight of the 2021 NCAA Tournament at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Although it was not his career-high, sophomore guard Johnny Juzang had the most important game of his career last night. He scored 28 points while shooting 11-19 from the field to win the game for the Bruins. The Bruins bench scored zero points, so Juzang’s clutch performance gave them the momentum they needed.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

The Bruins also forced 14 turnovers, which was because of their terrific defensive effort. So Juzang’s 28 points and their defensive discipline helped the Bruins to upset the Wolverines.

 They now face the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the Final Four, and it will only get tougher for them. But the Bruins are fearless and will go into the game expecting nothing less than a win.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

DIVE DEEPER

NCAA Commentator Believes PAC-12 Conference and UCLA Bruins Have Been Underrated

about 1 month ago

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Aaron Mathew

1542 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT