The San Diego State Aztecs are heading to the national championship game after a buzzer-beater by Lamont Butler ended FAU’s run in the NCAA Tournament.
The Final Four officially kicked off on Saturday, Apr. 1, with teams looking to clinch their spot in the national championship game. The first game of the day was between the No. 5 San Diego State Aztecs and the No. 9 FAU Owls, and it will go down as a classic.
Florida Atlantic led 71-70 with just 18-seconds remaining. Johnell Davis attempted a jump shot to extend their lead, but missed. Nathan Mensah grabbed the defensive rebound and passed it to Lamont Butler, who drove to the paint and hit a clutch jump shot at the buzzer to give the Aztecs the 72-71 victory.
The Aztecs will now compete for the national championship for the first time in the program’s history.
SDSU ends FAU’s run, clinches spot in national championship game
Let’s take a look at some of the reactions on Twitter from the amazing finish to the game.
Lamont Butler just became a March Madness legend!
San Diego State to Monday night.
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) April 2, 2023
Head Coach Brian Dutcher used to walk around campus and hand out free tickets to SDSU games.
His team just drilled a buzzer beater and the SAN DIEGO STATE AZTECS are playing for a NATIONAL TITLE on Monday. pic.twitter.com/UvTNhBTUkz
— Front Office Sports (@FOS) April 2, 2023
Butler’s buzzer-beater was the fifth ever in a Final Four game. But, it was the first buzzer-beater as the team was trailing before the shot, per ESPN Stats and Info.
Matt Bradley led the way for SDSU, scoring 21 points while shooting 5-for-12 from the field, 4-for-8 from the three-point line, and 7-for-9 from the free throw line. Bradley also recorded six rebounds and two assists.
Butler scored 9 points (3-for-6 from field), dished out three assists, and hauled in two rebounds.
As for FAU, Alijah Martin led the team with 26 points scored (7-for-13 from field, 9-for-10 from free throw line).
San Diego State has now gone through No. 12 Charleston, No. 13 Furman, No. 1 Alabama, No. 6 Creighton and now No. 9 FAU to reach the national championship game. Now, they will face the winner of No. 4 UConn and No. 5 Miami in the national title game on Monday, Apr. 3.