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Gonzaga Basketball

From Lebron James to Patrick Mahomes, sports icons weigh in on Jalen Suggs’ buzzer beater

Gonzaga guard Jalen Suggs (1) celebrates making the game winning basket against UCLA during overtime in a men's Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament semifinal game, Saturday, April 3, 2021, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Gonzaga won 93-90.  (Michael Conroy/Associated Press)
By Justin Reed The Spokesman-Review

Gonzaga’s Jalen Suggs broke Twitter on Saturday night.

Not actually, but he did cause ‘What a shot, and ‘Are you kidding me?’ to trend on the social media site after he knocked down a 32-foot, near-halfcourt heave to beat the 11th-seeded UCLA Bruins 93-90.

It was the first game-winning buzzer beater in the 2021 NCAA Tournament.

Sports icons and luminaries from around the country instantly made their thoughts known to the world.

To start, Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James could only respond with OMG and WOW. He followed that up with: “I said SUGGS about to hit this as soon as he crossed half court. GAME!”

Then, former NBA star Dwyane Wade – who Suggs gave a shoutout to postgame in regard to his celebration – said: “Jalen Suggs is built different! WoW!.”

Paul Pierce, who is expected to be enshrined in the Naismith memorial Basketball Hall of Fame this year, had this to say: “What a shot!!!!! Omg Gonzaga.”

NBA Hall-of-Famer Magic Johnson summed it up with one word: “WOW!!!!!!!!!!!.”

Another member of the NBA hall, James Worthy said, “’LORD HAVE MERCY’ what a ending to the UCLA vs. Gonzaga overtime game.”

Current NBA players had a few words for the ending.

The Houston Rockets DeMarre Carroll: “The best college basketball game in March Madness…. WOOOW.”

De’Andre Hunter – a member of Virginia’s 2019 title-winning squad and now a member of the Atlanta Hawks – said this: “Yooooo.. best game I seen in a while.”

Another former NCAA Tournament winner, Josh Hart (with Villanova in 2016), could only say, “WOW.”

Switching to the college side, former UCLA Bruins had plenty of takes.

Kevin Love: “Oh. My. God.” Also: “Can’t imagine what that locker room must be like for those guys after the loss but UCLA and their entire program should be incredibly proud.”

Zach LaVine: “That hurts…”

Lonzo Ball: “Wow.”

Jerrold Smith: “Bro, I literally have no words.”

Kyle Anderson: “Sick to my stomach.”

Theo Pinson, a North Carolina grad who was part of the 2017 team that beat the Bulldogs in the national championship, said: “I know how UCLA feel…” Followed by two laughing-crying emoji’s.

Pinson’s Tar Heels lost in heartbreaking fashion in the 2016 national championship game to Villanova as the Wildcats’ Kris Jenkins knocked down a game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer.

One of the top college basketball analysts, Dick Vitale had a more measured approach: “OMG I still can not believe this instant classic we just watched. Tonight demonstrated what is defined as March Madness. Just an amazing competition and a salute to both teams for playing their hearts out for 45 minutes. Gonzaga truly SURVIVES & ADVANCES!”

Current Mariners ace and former Zag pitcher Marco Gonzales said: “M’s take the series. Zags going to the Natty. That’s it, that’s the tweet.”

He also was caught celebrating in the dugout during Seattle’s game while zombie nation was cranking in T-Mobile Park.

Switching to the gridiron, Patrick Mahomes and Drew Brees each shared their thoughts on the ending.

Mahomes: “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?!?”

Brees: “I see you Suggs! #Zags What a game!”

And the award for the worst tweet after the game goes to the always-polarizing Skip Bayless of Fox Sports: “No idea how you can call that an all-time great college basketball game when it was won by a lucky shot.”

While most of the sports world were enthralled with the game and the improbable finish, Bayless was the one outlier.