‘Like Cockroaches’- Gonzaga Bulldogs’ Corey Kispert Recalls Historic Final Four Win Over UCLA Bruins

Published 04/22/2021, 9:13 AM EDT
Mar 22, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Gonzaga Bulldogs forward Corey Kispert (24) reacts after making a three point basket against the Oklahoma Sooners during the first half in the second round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports


The Gonzaga Bulldogs could have seen their name immortalized within the ranks of NCAA Basketball. They were one win away from being the first team in almost 50 years to win the title while being undefeated. They ran through almost every team in the tournament and were on a historic double-digit winning streak. But then they reached the Final Four.

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In the Final Four, the Bulldogs were matched with old rivals in the UCLA Bruins. The teams share a tense past in NCAA Basketball, where the Bruins were an eleventh-seed Cinderella story going against the undefeated juggernaut. The Bruins gave the Bulldogs the fight of their life, with Gonzaga needing a heroic three-pointer from Jalen Suggs to save the game.

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Corey Kispert of Gonzaga appeared on ‘The Perimeter with Adam Morrison‘ and spoke about that tense game. He compared the Bruins to cockroaches that wouldn’t go away, but maintained they were confident in their chances to win.

“The whole game felt like, we took their best punch and we will break this game open. It’s 15-20 points, no problem. But every single time, they just hung around. They were like cockroaches.”

Gonzaga Bulldogs: A Final Four classic gone to waste?

When looking at team legacies, the 2020-21 Gonzaga Bulldogs will be hard to figure out. They went undefeated in dominant fashion for upwards of 25 games that season. The one time they were tested by the Bruins, they pulled off a stunning victory.

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Apr 3, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Jalen Suggs (1) shoots the game winning shot over UCLA Bruins guard David Singleton (34) during the overtime in the national semifinals of the Final Four of the 2021 NCAA Tournament at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

However, they collapsed in the Finals to the Baylor Bears. The Jalen Suggs game-winner could have built a historic narrative around the Bulldogs if they managed to win the championship. That shot would have been immortalized for its historical significance. While it is still a fantastic and significant shot, it doesn’t hold up with the likes of Christian Laettner. But if they won the title, it could have been remembered.

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But that game was possibly one of the greatest tournament games in a long time. With the Suggs winner combined, the entertainment that game provided can never go to waste.

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Ishaan Bhattacharya

1510 articles

Ishaan Bhattacharya is an NBA, NCAA Basketball, and Combat Sports writer at EssentiallySports. Currently, Ishaan is pursuing a Post Graduate Degree in Journalism from Xavier's Institute of Communication. Previously, Ishaan has written for The Indian Express, The Quint, Sportskeeda, and WrestleClub.

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