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Utah State stuns San Diego State to claim Mountain West title

Utah State secured an NCAA tournament berth with a stunning upset of San Diego State in the Mountain West tournament. We break it down, including Sam Merrill’s game-winning shot.

Utah State Aggies guard Sam Merrill reacts after a basket during the first half of the Mountain West Conference tournament final against the San Diego State Aztecs at Thomas and Mack Center. Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

The Utah State Aggies were all but guaranteed an at-large bid in the 2020 NCAA Tournament, but Saturday evening they removed any potential doubt. The Aggies stunned the San Diego State Aztecs in the Mountain West Conference championship game. San Diego State led in the second half of the second half, but blew it late.

Sam Merrill clinched the victory with a three-point shot with three seconds left. Here he is dropping the shot from waaaaaaay down town.

Utah State entered the game ranked 43rd in the NET rankings and KenPom ratings. That leaves just a little too much room for the committee to decide it’s not quite good enough. By beating San Diego State, they take it out of the judges’ hands.

Meanwhile, San Diego State ended their shot at a No. 1 seed. They entered the game fourth in NET and KenPom but will drop with the loss. They are likely looking at a No. 2 seed following the loss.