Two days after he scored a game-high 21 points to upset No. 1 seed Alabama, San Diego State point guard Darrion Trammell etched his name into Aztecs history.
The Marin native and St. Ignatius alum’s free throw with 1.2 seconds left gave the fifth-seeded Aztecs a 57-56 win over Creighton to win the South Regional Final and advance to the Final Four for the first time in program history.
The sixth-seeded Bluejays tied the game with 32.4 seconds left when Baylor Scheierman stole an inbound pass and laid it in. Creighton (24-13) gave a foul with 6.7 seconds left, allowing the Aztecs to take the final shot, and Ryan Nembhard grabbed Trammell’s hip as the SI alum tried an elbow jumper.
Time initially expired on the play. After review, referees put 1.2 seconds back on the clock. Trammell missed his first free throw but made the second.
“March is for players. We’ve got really good players,” head coach Brian Dutcher told CBS’ Evan Washburn. “I drew up a play that didn’t happen and Darrion made a play.”
The Bluejays tried to throw a full-court inbound pass, and after one last review, referees determined that time had expired on the failed heave, ensuring Trammell will be remembered by generations of SDSU fans.
“It’s all about believing in yourself. I put in the work and I had nothing to be nervous about,” Trammell told Washburn. “I’m doing this for my family and for the people back home. My grandpa, my brother … I’m just doing it for them.”
Trammell had no Division I offers when he graduated from St. Ignatius in 2018. He spent a post-grad year at Golden State Prep (Prolific Prep’s post-grad team) in Napa, then played at City College of San Francisco before spending two years at Seattle.
“It’s just a blessing to be here and to have the opportunity to knock down those free throws for my brothers so we can celebrate,” an emotional Trammell said to Washburn and a national TV audience. “I’ve been dreaming of this my whole life.”
Trammell finished with 12 points and an assist. Teammate Lamont Butler scored a game-high 18, while Oakland native Keshad Johnson finished with five, including a clutch and-1 to cut Creighton’s lead to 1 with 7:09 left.
The Aztecs will face Cinderella story Florida Atlantic in the Final Four next Saturday at NRG Stadium in Houston. Tip-off is officially scheduled for 3:09 p.m. Pacific Time.
Trammell won't be the only Marin County native in the Final Four; Marin Catholic alum Joey Calcaterra, who was raised in Novato, will also be in Houston with the UConn Huskies. Calcaterra, who comes off the bench as a 3-point specialist, will face Miami.
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