It was a sloppy ugly physical game in the first half with both teams missing baskets, fouling, and fumbling the ball. Many of the crazy bounces seemed to end up in the Aztecs’ favor early on.
Perhaps a little frustrated with his play (0-4 shooting), Brandon Miller picked up his second foul at the 14:49 mark and had to find a spot on the bench. He would soon return but appeared to be whistled for a third foul. However, the foul was instead mistakenly called on Mark Sears. This near-perilous situation earned him another visit to a seat next to Coach Nate Oats. Upon his next return with about eight minutes to go in the half, he looked a little more level-headed and scored his first four points of the game.
Jahvon Quinerly lost his cool in the first half and was called for a flagrant foul which sparked SDSU to erase a Bama three-point advantage and jump out to a two point advantage.
Jaden Bradley would tie the game 23-23 on a free throw, but the Aztecs would score the next five points to run out the first half. Alabama was 1 of 11 from the three point line in the first 20 minutes. The 23 points scored by the Tide was the second lowest output they have had in a first half all season. The other was 22 points in a loss to Texas A&M.
Alabama looked like a different team to start the second half outscoring San Diego State 11-2. A massive two-hand jam by “Angry Chuck” Bediako gave the Crimson Tide a four-point lead.
BEDIAKO THROWS IT DOWN #MarchMadness pic.twitter.com/MgfBIAkdid— NCAA March Madness (@MarchMadnessMBB) March 24, 2023
Noah Clowney would pick up foul number four in the first five minutes which gave Noah Gurley and Nick Pringle chances to shine.
NICK PRINGLE WITH AUTHORITY— NCAA March Madness (@MarchMadnessMBB) March 25, 2023
Alabama opens up its largest lead of the game #MarchMadness pic.twitter.com/MWtUjrlujt
After a timeout, the starters came back and things got sloppy. The Aztecs would take advantage and outscore Bama 12-0. Down the stretch, Quinerly kept driving to the hole and having the ball rejected against their massive frontliners. Everything was dropping for San Diego and they never trailed after the 8:39 mark.
Down 66-57, Bama would make it close with seven points from Sears to trail by only four but SDSU would hold on for the win.
Alabama was an atrocious 3-27 from three.
The Aztecs will now face the winner of 15-Princeton vs 6-Creighton 8 p.m./9 p.m. on TBS.
It was not the ending Crimson Tide fans wanted, but it was still an incredible campaign. Alabama (31-6) made their second Sweet 16 in three seasons and finished with their first 30-win season in school history.