History is on the line Sunday when fifth-seeded San Diego State (30-6) and No. 6 Creighton (24-12) face off in the South Region final in Louisville, Kentucky.
The winner of this Elite Eight matchup will head to the Final Four for the first time in program history.
The Aztecs have already rewritten the record books, knocking of No. 1 seed Alabama on Friday night in the Sweet 16 to advance to their first-ever Elite Eight appearance.
The last time Creighton was in a region final was in 1941, when the Bluejays were part of an eight-team NCAA Tournament. They ended 15th-seeded Princeton’s Cinderella run Friday to put themselves on the brink.
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FrontPageBets takes a look at this Elite Eight matchup, with the winner heading to Houston and the Final Four.
San Diego State: Road to the Elite Eight
The Aztecs enter their first region final on the highest of highs, shutting down the top overall seed and one of the nation’s best offenses – and players – in a 71-64 win over Alabama.
Not even an hour after San Diego State knocked off the Crimson Tide, fifth-seeded Miami beat No. 1 Houston in the Midwest Region semifinal to ensure the Elite Eight would be without a No. 1 team for the first time in NCAA Tournament history.
Back in Louisville on Friday, SDSU kept Alabama freshman phenom Brandon Miller to just 9 points on 3 of 19 shooting. Miller entered the Sweet 16 matchup averaging nearly 19 points per game.
Limiting Alabama to any good looks, including holding the Crimson Tide to just 3 of 27 from beyond the 3-point line, the Aztecs defense showed why this team can be a contender. Alabama came into the game making just over 10 3-pointers a game, which is ninth-best in the nation.
SDSU also blocked eight shots and forced 14 turnovers.
San Diego State used a 12-0, second-half run to go from training by 9 points to taking a lead it wouldn’t relinquish.
Senior guard Darrion Trammell led the Aztecs with 21 points Friday night. For the NCAA Tournament, Trammell is averaging 13 points.
For the tournament, the Aztecs are giving up just 57.7 points per game, which is more than 5 points better than their season average of allowing 63.1.
Creighton: Road to the Elite Eight
While San Diego State beat a giant, Creighton ended a Cinderella story Friday night in the South Region semifinals.
The Bluejays knocked off Princeton, 86-75, to end the Tigers’ hopes of becoming the first 15 seed to make it to the Final Four.
Creighton shot 58.2% from the field Friday night, going 32 of 55 from the floor, while also shooting 81.3% from the free-throw line.
Efficiency has been the name of the game for the Bluejays as they boast the nation’s second-best player in terms of field goal percentage in big man Ryan Kalkbrenner, who entered making almost 71% of his attempts.
Friday night was no different for the 7-foot-1 junior, as Kalkbrenner led Creighton with 22 points, making 9 of his 12 shots. For the tournament, Kalkbrenner is averaging 21 points and shooting 67%.
The Bluejays are averaging 81 points per game in the postseason and shooting 51% from the field.
Creighton beat San Diego State, 72-69, in overtime in last year’s NCAA Tournament first round.
No. 6 Creighton vs. No. 5 San Diego State; South Region
(All odds courtesy of DraftKings and are subject to change)
When: 2:20 p.m., Sunday; Louisville
Spread: Creighton -2 (-110); San Diego State +2 (-110)
Money line: Creighton -130; San Diego State +110
O/U: 133.5 (-110)
The pick: Creighton, 66-60
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Mike Szvetitz is the General Manager and Content Director for FrontPageBets.com. Szvetitz is a 23-year veteran reporter and editor, including serving 17 years as a sports editor in Florida, Alabama and Virginia, covering everything from preps to pros. His "View From The Lazy Boy" column won multiple state and national awards. He can be reached at email@example.com.