In a thrilling Final Four game on Saturday night, San Diego State’s Lamont Butler hit a game-winning jump shot at the buzzer to send his team to its first national championship game with a 72-71 victory over Florida Atlantic.
Despite being down by 14 points in the second half, the No. 5 seeded Aztecs (32-6) managed to make a comeback with their solid defense, shutting down the No. 9 seeded FAU team.
With just 36 seconds left on the clock, San Diego State pulled within one point when Jaedon LeDee made a short jumper. After FAU’s Johnell Davis missed a contested layup, the Aztecs quickly got the ball to Butler for the final possession.
Butler dribbled to the baseline, then circled back to create some space. With just two seconds left, he hit a jumper that sent his team into the national championship game against the No. 4 seeded UConn. UConn had an easier time in their game, handling fifth-seeded Miami with a 72-59 win.
Butler said after the game that the plan was to “get downhill” but the FAU defense cut him off, forcing him to take a shot he was comfortable with. The Aztecs still had one timeout left, but head coach Brian Dutcher said he had “ran out of plays,” so he decided not to take a timeout.