San Diego State narrowly tops Creighton in Elite Eight thanks to clutch free throws in final seconds

Fox News Flash top sports headlines for March 26

San Diego State Going to the Final Four for the first time in men’s basketball program history.

The Aztecs defeated Creighton in NCAA men’s basketball Southern Regional Final57-56.

San Diego State guard Darion Trammell was fouled by Creighton Ryan Nimbard when he came up to run with 1.2 seconds left. A replay showed Nimbard resting his hand on Tramell’s hip as he went up for the photo.

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San Diego State forward Gideon Liddy (13) dunks the ball against Creighton in the first half of the NCAA Tournament Elite 8 South District college basketball game, Sunday, March 26, 2023, in Louisville, Kentucky (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

San Diego State forward Gideon Liddy (13) dunks the ball against Creighton in the first half of the NCAA Tournament Elite 8 South District college basketball game, Sunday, March 26, 2023, in Louisville, Kentucky (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

He missed the first free throw and then hit the second. The No. 5 seeded Aztecs will advance to the Final Four for the first time.

Nathan Mensah put San Diego State ahead by two points, 56-54, with 1:37 left in the second half. After a missed shot by Nimbard and then a missed three-point attempt by Trammell, Bloggers’ point guard Trey Alexander missed a jump shot to tie the game with about 37 seconds left in the game. The ball bounced around the rim before falling out of the cup.

The ball went out of bounds and San Diego State’s Adam Seko tried to find a teammate but turned the ball over. Creighton Baylor Sherman would steal an inside pass and hit an easy layup to tie the game 56-56 with 32 seconds left in the second period.

Creighton's Francisco Farabello (5) leads San Diego State forward Nathan Mensah (31) in the first half of the NCAA Tournament's Elite 8 college basketball game, Sunday, March 26, 2023, in Louisville, Kentucky.

Creighton’s Francisco Farabello (5) leads San Diego State forward Nathan Mensah (31) in the first half of the NCAA Tournament’s Elite 8 college basketball game, Sunday, March 26, 2023, in Louisville, Kentucky. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Creighton center Ryan Kalkbrenner (11) flicks the ball against San Diego State forward Gideon Leddy (13) in the first half of an NCAA Tournament Elite 8 college basketball game, Sunday, March 26, 2023, in Louisville, Ky.

Creighton center Ryan Kalkbrenner (11) flicks the ball against San Diego State forward Gideon Leddy (13) in the first half of an NCAA Tournament Elite 8 college basketball game, Sunday, March 26, 2023, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

Ocon dominates again, taking Gonzaga to earn a ride to fourth

Trammel would get the ball in the closing seconds and draw the foul in the closing seconds.

March 26, 2023;  Louisville, Kentucky, USA;  Creighton Blue Jays Ryan Nimbard (2) and San Diego State Aztecs guard Darion Tramell (12) fight over the ball during the second half in the NCAA South Regional-Creighton vs San Diego State at KFC YUM!  center.

March 26, 2023; Louisville, Kentucky, USA; Creighton Blue Jays Ryan Nimbard (2) and San Diego State Aztecs guard Darion Tramell (12) fight over the ball during the second half in the NCAA South Regional-Creighton vs San Diego State at KFC YUM! center. (Jordan Brother – USA Today Sports)

Creighton led 33-28 at halftime. Ryan Kalkbrenner scored 10 points in the first 20 minutes of the game on 5-of-8 from the floor. Center scored 17 points and six rebounds.

San Diego State’s Lamont Butler led the Aztecs with 18 points and two rebounds. Trammell finished with 12 points and five boundaries. They were the only two San Diego State players in double digits.

The Aztecs will play Florida Atlantic In the Final Four on Saturday.

Creighton guard Ryan Nimbard (2) meets San Diego State forward Ajek Arup (33) in the first half of the NCAA Tournament Elite 8 college basketball game, Sunday, March 26, 2023, in Louisville, Kentucky.

Creighton guard Ryan Nimbard (2) meets San Diego State forward Ajek Arup (33) in the first half of the NCAA Tournament Elite 8 college basketball game, Sunday, March 26, 2023, in Louisville, Kentucky. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

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The furthest from San Diego State in the tournament before this year’s bracket was the Sweet 16. The team made the Sweet 16 rounds in 2014 and 2011 and now has a chance to play in a national tournament.

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