Bryce Alford’s shot wasn’t headed toward the basket. It was going to the right of the rim with a chance to touch the iron.
But SMU’s Yanick Moreira jumped and touched the ball before it got to or had a chance to go in.
The result was a goal-tending call that gave UCLA’s Alford a three-pointer with 13 seconds remaining. Those were the final points in the Bruins’ 60-59 victory over the Mustangs.
“It’s my fault,” Moreira said. “I should have let the ball hit the rim. I take the blame on myself. I shouldn’t have made that mistake.”
The bucket capped an incredible comeback by the 11th-seeded Bruins in a back and forth game.
SMU made up a 10-point deficit with a 19-0 run, and led 59-52 with 1:25 remaining.
But Alford, the son of Coach Steve Alford, hit four three-pointers in the final 3:40, including the goal-tended shot to give UCLA the improbable victory and send them to a third-round against No. 14-seed Alabama-Birmingham, which upset set Iowa State earlier in the day.
For the game, Alford went nine of 11 of three-pointers for all 27 of his points.
“I never saw a game end like that,” said Mustangs coach Larry Brown, who led Kansas to the 1988 national championship.
Goal-tending is a non-reviewable call. When the officials went to the monitor after making the call they were checking whether Alford had made a three- or two-pointer.