San Diego State Lamont Butler played the hero Saturday night as he lifted his jumper for the Aztecs to beat Florida Atlantic 72-71 in the National Semifinal game.
but snapshot butler It was almost all for nothing as replays of his play showed how close he came to breaking out of the play’s confines.
Butler brought the ball in after an Owls player missed a jumper in the lane. He drove to the right towards the baseline and almost stepped on the finish line. His foot was barely an inch from the line.
Regardless, Butler got up and fired, shooting and putting himself in the lore of Mad March.
“I didn’t really know how big it was,” he said after the game. “We’re going to the national championship. These aren’t things that many people do.”
San Diego State will face UConn in the National Championship Monday night. The Miami Huskies lead in the other Final Four game.
“We’ve always been knocked down,” said San Diego State guard Matt Bradley. “But the most important thing we always do is get up and keep fighting.”
Prior to the 2023 tournament, San Diego State had only made it to the Sweet 16—reaching in 2011 and 2014. Now, they can play for a chance at national title.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.