Trailing by one after getting a defensive stop, San Diego State had the opportunity to take a time-out to draw up a play and get its best offensive team on the floor. The Aztecs instead decided to let it ride.
Nathan Mensah pulled down a rebound and kicked the ball out to Lamont Butler. Butler dribbled right toward the baseline. Butler then dribbled back in and took a shot over Florida Atlantic’s Nicholas Boyd.
The shot was pure. And with that, the Aztecs defeated the Owls to advance to the national championship game.
SAN DIEGO STATE ONIONS TO ADVANCE TO THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME! 🏀🧅🔥 pic.twitter.com/SQxgvcB4OH
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) April 2, 2023
The fans attending Saturday’s game between the San Diego Padres and Colorado Rockies at Petco Park went nuts when the hometown Aztecs secured the win.
And they are going absolutely wild for the announcement of the Rockies starting lineup at Petco Park. pic.twitter.com/mkSoCvBmCN
— AJ Cassavell (@AJCassavell) April 2, 2023
Scene from Petco Park when the #Aztecs WON pic.twitter.com/2ypszqkrAs
— Annie Heilbrunn (@annieheilbrunn) April 2, 2023
The Miami players, who were waiting in the tunnel to take the floor for their game against UConn, were also stunned.
Miami players react to Lamont Butler's epic buzzer-beater. pic.twitter.com/nqFW6YDtGI
— The Comeback (@thecomeback) April 2, 2023
They were not the only ones.
College basketball fans went crazy seeing Butler’s heroic shot.
What a shot! What a comeback! What a stage!!! Aztecs!!!! #MarchMadness #FinalFour
— Dan Graca (@DanGraca) April 2, 2023
Lamont Butler. pic.twitter.com/D26i3T29Ql
— David Aldridge (@davidaldridgedc) April 2, 2023
What a shot son! #MarchMadness
— Ryan Clark (@Realrclark25) April 2, 2023
WHAT A SHOT Lamont Butler just made to win it for San Diego State and cap a 14-point comeback. Hugely appreciated that Brian Dutcher did not call time out and call a play. Just let the kids figure out how to win it themselves. So unusual for overcoached NCAA hoops.
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) April 2, 2023
What a shot!!!!
Brutal loss for Florida Atlantic
— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) April 2, 2023
Wow what a shot!!!
— Kerry Rhodes (@Kerry25Rhodes) April 2, 2023
Florida Atlantic led 40-33 at halftime and was ahead for nearly the entire game. With 14:56 remaining, Alijah Martin made three free throws to put the Owls up 54-40. But the Aztech steadily chipped away. Matt Bradley’s 21 points led San Diego State. Butler finished the game with nine.
San Diego State will play for the championship on Monday night.