March 26, 2023 | 4:52 pm
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Last fall, Creighton and San Diego State shared a flight to Hawaii to play in the Maui Invitational.
Sunday in the South Region Elite Eight Showdown in the NCAA Tournament at the KFC Yum! Center, with the first-ever Final Four berths at stake for both schools, the two shared the national spotlight.
A scrappy, close game didn’t disappoint throughout — leading to a wild finish that wasn’t decided until the final possession.
When it was over, No. 5 San Diego State won in a positively frenzied 57-56 decision.
This time, the Aztecs will fly solo 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 Darian Trammell, who was fouled by Creighton’s Ryan Nembhard with 1.2 seconds left.
Trammell missed the first free throw and drained the second for the margin.
San Diego State (31-6) escaped an improbable turnover on an inbounds pass by Adam Sieko to give the Aztecs a 56-54 lead with 34.2 seconds left.
As the ball landed in the hands of Creighton’s Baylor Shierman under the Bluejays’ basket, Seiko attempted to loft the ball into a teammate and beat his goal.
Scheuerman tied the game at 56-56, setting up a stunning layup.
The Aztecs were led by Lamont Butler’s 18 points and Trammell’s 12 points.
Ryan Kalkbrenner had 17 points and six rebounds to lead sixth-seeded Creighton (23-13).
Shearman had 12 points, nine rebounds and four assists and Arthur Kaluma added 12 points.