Lamont Butler #5 of the San Diego State Aztecs shoots the ball to defeat the Florida Atlantic Owls during the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Final Four semifinal game
Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

'San Diego State Miracle' Buzzer Beater Sends the Aztecs to National Championship Game

March Madness is known for its thrilling upsets and late game heroics. So it's only fitting the first Final Four matchup of the Men's Basketball NCAA Tournament ended with a buzzer-beater. When the 5-seed San Diego State Aztecs of the Mountain West Conference tipped off against the Owls of C-USA's Florida Atlantic University on CBS, no one really knew what to expect. Even Vegas only had SDSU as a two-point favorite, even with the seed differential. And what viewers were treated too was a fantastic game with an even better ending, as San Diego State's buzzer beater hit nothing but nylon.

San Diego State Overcomes 14-Point Deficit to Advance to the National Championship Game

 Lamont Butler #5 of the San Diego State Aztecs celebrates with teammates after making a game winning basket to defeat the Florida Atlantic Owls 72-71 during the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament Final Four semifinal game

Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The San Diego State Aztecs, led by Darrion Trammell, advanced to the Final Four after dodging a hot Creighton squad in the Elite Eight. But their opponent blocking their way to a National Championship appearance, the FAU Owls, weren't going down without a fight.

No team had more D-1 wins than FAU entering the NCAA Tournament when you combine the regular season with conference tournaments, but their season has come to an end at the hands of fellow Mid Major SDSU. FAU was up seven points at the end of the first half, but struggles with free throws and rebounds in the second half saw their lead, which was as high as 14, disappear. And when Johnell Davis missed a layup with 10 seconds left, Nathan Mensah pulled down the board and got the ball to teammate Lamont Butler to push down the floor.

Many would've expected head coach Brian Dutcher to call a timeout when Butler didn't get a quick layup, but instead he trusted his junior guard. What followed was a perfect scorer's field goal as time expired to advance the Aztecs to the College Basketball Final on Monday night. They will meet the winner of Saturday Night's other Final Four matchup between Miami and UConn.

Funnily enough, the last time the Final Four was in Houston was accompanied by a very similar buzzer-beater when Kris Jenkins drained a shot to give Villanova the title. That means two of the five buzzer-beaters to have happened in Final Four history have come in Houston.


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