San Diego State deserved better finish to celebrate Final Four

Xavier Roger


What a buzzkill.

When San Diego State commemorates the moment it clinched its first trip to the Final Four, will it use a photo of the referees huddled around the scorer’s table? A stopwatch?

Yes, officials were right to call the foul on Creighton’s Ryan Nembhard. It was obvious in real time, and replays afterward confirmed, that Nembhard had his left hand clamped firmly at Darrion Trammell’s waist as Trammell put up a layup that clanged off the rim. That’s a foul in every game, at every level, whether it’s a Final Four or post-game ice cream on the line.

But to have this game, between these two teams, end like that sucked all the joy and drama out of it. And when officials took several minutes to review who knows what on Creighton’s last-gasp inbounds play, it robbed the Aztecs of the jubilant on-court celebration they deserved. Especially for their very first Final Four appearance.

San Diego State coach Brian Dutcher holds the remains of the net after the Aztecs defeated Creighton to advance to the Final Four of the NCAA men's tournament.

“It was controlled madness,” San Diego State coach Brian Dutcher said after his Aztecs squeaked out a 57-56 win over Creighton to win the South Regional in the NCAA men’s tournament.

Madness, yes. Controlled? Not so sure about that.

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