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Lamont Butler’s Buzzer-Beater: A Historic Moment for San Diego State

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In the annals of college basketball history, certain moments stand out as iconic. One such moment unfolded on this day last year when Lamont Butler, a guard for the San Diego State Aztecs, etched his name into the hearts of fans with a shocking buzzer-beater.

A tweet from the official NCAA March Madness account (@MarchMadnessMBB) commemorated the anniversary, stating:

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“On this day last year, Lamont Butler hit a SHOCKING buzzer-beater to propel @Aztec_MBB to the #NationalChampionship! “

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The Aztecs, a mid-major powerhouse, defied expectations throughout the 2023 NCAA Tournament. They battled their way through the bracket, overcoming ranked opponents to reach the Final Four. There, they faced a formidable foe – the Florida Atlantic Owls, another mid-major team on a Cinderella run.

The stage was the Final Four of the NCAA March Madness tournament. The Aztecs, seeded fifth, faced off against the ninth-seeded Florida Atlantic Owls. Trailing by one point with seconds ticking away, the Aztecs found themselves on the brink of elimination. But Lamont Butler had other plans.

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As the clock wound down, Butler received the ball. With nerves of steel, he created just enough space to release a jumper over the outstretched arms of his defender. The ball left his fingertips, and time seemed to slow. And then, the arena erupted—the shot swished through the net as the buzzer sounded. The Aztecs had done the impossible: they secured a 72-71 comeback win most dramatically.

Lamont Butler’s Historic Comeback

Butler’s game-winning shot not only sent the Aztecs to their first lead of the second half but also completed a remarkable comeback. At one point, they trailed by as much as 14 points, making it the fifth-largest comeback in Final Four history. The magnitude of the moment was not lost on anyone—the Aztecs were writing their chapter in the storied book of college basketball.

Lamont Butler’s buzzer-beater joins an elite club of game-winners. It’s only the sixth such shot in NCAA history and the first since Jalen Suggs of Gonzaga hit one in 2021. For Butler, it was a culmination of hard work, determination, and nerves of steel. His nine points on the night may seem modest, but that one shot will forever define his legacy.

 

ALSO READ: Zach Edey: From Overlooked Recruit to March Madness Hero

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