Nothing is easy at the NCAA Tournament. That's what makes the wins mean so much and the losses hurt so deeply.
San Diego State suffered a monster collapse, letting a double-digit lead get away in a 72-69 loss to Creighton in the 1st round of the Midwest Regional in Fort Worth, TX.
The Aztecs took the lead with 15:02 left to play in the 1st half. They kept it for the next 34 minutes and 51 seconds, and still lost.
Trey Pulliam hit a 3-pointer to give the Aztecs a 9-point lead with 3:51 left and it looked like they would get a shot at Kansas in the 2nd round. The Blue Jays scored nine straight points and Trey Alexander buried a jumper to tie it 62-62 with 11 seconds to play and force overtime.
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In OT the Aztecs took a 3-point lead only to watch Alexander burn them again, hitting a baseline jumper then attacking the basket to score and get fouled. The 3-point play gave Creighton a 71-69 lead and SDSU's inability to score doomed them. The Aztecs missed three shots, two of them layups, and turned the ball over twice down the stretch and just like that their season was over.
The end overlooked another solid game sophomore Chad Baker-Mazara, who had a team-high 17 points. Matt Bradley scored 16 points and fellow senior Pulliam scored 14 in their final appearances in an SDSU uniform.
The Aztecs haven't won an NCAA Tournament game in eight years (although the 30-2 team in 2020 would have made a deep run had the tournament not been canceled due to the pandemic).