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SDSU Aztecs lose 72-69 in first round against Creighton

The Aztec men's basketball season comes to an end with a first round loss in overtime against #9 Creighton University.

SAN DIEGO — San Diego State's men's basketball season comes to an end with a first round loss 72-69 in overtime against the 9-seed Creighton University Blue Jays. 

Trey Alexander converted a go-ahead, three-point play late in overtime, and Creighton rallied for a 72-69 victory over San Diego State in an NCAA Tournament opener. 

The Blue Jays hadn’t led since the first five minutes of the game when Alexander drove right and was fouled on the layup. The free throw put Creighton ahead 71-69 with 1:08 remaining. He also had the tying basket late in regulation. 

Creighton will play the Kansas-Texas Southern winner in the Midwest Region on Saturday. The Aztecs couldn't get a potential tying shot off in the final seconds of OT.

San Diego State was 3-4 against Creighton, including an 83-52 victory in their most recent meeting back on Nov. 28, 2019, in a semifinal of the Las Vegas Invitational.

"We've told every recruit since we got here, our goal is to play in a Final Four, to play for a national championship so we can't have that goal and not win games in the tournament," said Brian Dutcher, who is in his fifth season as San Diego State's coach after being an assistant head coach or associate head coach with the Aztecs the previous 18 seasons.

"The thing I want to make sure this year's team does is play with incredible confidence, with a swagger, and not be afraid," Dutcher said. "You can't be fearful of this time. You have to go out, embrace it, play like you belong here, play like you know you're good, and play with great swagger."

San Diego State enters the tournament coming off a heartbreaking one-point loss to Boise State in the Mountain West Conference Championship game. The Aztecs are back in the dance for the second consecutive year, but they haven’t advanced out of the Round of 64 since back in 2015. Last season, the 6-seed Aztecs were upset by Syracuse.

The Aztecs boasted a 23-8 record with a 13-4 record in Mountain West play on their way to a third-place finish in the conference. However, the boys from Montezuma Mesa have won 11 of their last 13 games, including knocking off second place Colorado State in the Mountain West semifinals.

The Aztecs have made 13 appearances in the March Madness tournament and own a record of 6-13 in those appearances.

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