LOUISVILLE – Last fall, Creighton and San Diego State shared a flight to Hawaii to play in the Maui Invitational.
On Sunday, in an NCAA Tournament South Regional Elite Eight matchup against KFC Yum! Center where the first Final-Four berth was at stake for both schools, both shared the national spotlight.
And neither disappointed in what turned out to be a tough, close game — a wild finish that wasn’t decided until the final possession.
Matt Bradley of the San Diego State Aztecs drives to the basket against Francisco Farabello of the Creighton Bluejays in the Eight Eight round.Getty Images
When it was over, No. 5 San Diego State was the winner in a positively frantic finish, 57-56. And this time, only the Aztecs will travel to Houston for the Final Four to play No. 9 Florida Atlantic in the national semifinals.
The game was decided on a free throw by SDSU guard Darrion Trammell, who was fouled by Creighton’s Ryan Nembhard with 1.2 seconds left. Trammell missed the first free throw and drained the second.
Darrion Trammell of the San Diego State Aztecs shoots the ball against Ryan Nembhard of the Creighton Bluejays.Getty Images
Creighton Bluejays’ Arthur Kaluma makes a three-pointer against the San Diego State Aztecs’ Aguek Arop in an Elite Eight game.Getty Images
San Diego State (31-6) overcame Adam Seiko’s unthinkable layup on an inbounds pass to put the Aztecs up 56-54 with 34.2 seconds left.
Seiko tried to hook the ball to a teammate and overturned his goal, the ball ending up in the hands of Creighton’s Baylor Scheierman under the Bluejays basket. Scheierman scored to tie the game at 56-56, setting up a surprising finish.