Are you kidding me? What a game. What a scene. San Diego State is heading to the national title game.
After trailing for the final 30 minutes of the game, the Aztecs erased a 14-point deficit and defeated Florida Atlantic 72-71 with a Lamont Butler buzzer-beating jumper.
“It’s unbelievable,” Butler said. “It’s what I came here to do. I’m glad the shot went in. I’m just happy for my team right now.”
SAN DIEGO STATE WILL PLAY FOR THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP pic.twitter.com/5NWXWvl138— CBS Sports College Basketball (@CBSSportsCBB) April 2, 2023
SDSU held the lead last at the 11:24 mark of the first half before its game-winner.
The Aztecs pulled off a strong defensive effort and quieted everyone but Alijah Martin, who almost single-handedly brought the Owls to the title game. He poured in 26 points on 7-for-13 shooting.
It was a one-possession game throughout the final 5:30. The Aztecs limited FAU to two field goals in that period.
Matt Bradley was the Aztecs’ high scorer with 21 points. Jaedon LeDee was also in double figures with 12. Butler finished with nine points. Aguek Arop was also one point shy of double figures.
“I don’t even know what to say right now” Bradley said. “This is crazy. Who would’ve imagined but us? I’m so proud of him, so proud of this team. It’s crazy right now.”
SDSU’s bench outscored the Owl reserves 27-15.
The two teams shot an identical 44% from the field. FAU hit 54% in the first half, while San Diego State knocked in half of its 3-point attempts (9-for-18), including 4-for-7 in the second 20 minutes.
SDSU is now 9-1 on the season in games decided by five points or fewer.
This marks the first time the Mountain West will have a team playing for the national championship.
San Diego State will play the winner of Connecticut-Miami in Monday evening’s championship game. It is slated to tip at 9:20 p.m. ET.