Sam Merrill was a beast on Saturday against San Diego State. In the biggest game of the season to date for Utah State, Merrill shined the brightest on the floor and hit the biggest shot of the game as Utah State shocked favored SDSU to punch their ticket to the 2020 March Madness Tournament.
Battle of top teams
When the Mountain West Tournament started, you just knew that somehow, someway Utah State and SDSU would find their way to the title match.
These two finished No. 1 and No. 2 in the conference and they are clearly the class of the league.
Fittingly, this game down to the final shot to determine the winner.
With the shot clock off and the crowd on their feet, Utah State’s Sam Merrill had a chance to send his team to the big dance. He didn’t disappoint.
After some impressive ball-handling, Merrill launched an NBA style three-point shot from beyond the arc and hit nothing but net.
UTAH STATE'S SAM MERRILL WITH THE GAME-WINNER TO UPSET NO. 5 SDSU ?❄️
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 8, 2020
The Utah State faithful lost their minds while San Diego State had to figure out how they could tie the game with just two seconds left.
SDSU inbounded the ball and launched a desperation 3-point attempt that hit the rim but wouldn’t fall in. Now Utah State is headed to the March Madness Tournament and SDSU will have to hope for an at large bid.
The Aztecs won the Mountain West regular-season title and finished with a 30-1 regular-season record. It appears they should have no problem making the tourney!
Sam Merrill, Neemias Queta shine in win
While this championship game was a battle, you could tell right from the get-go and through the entire contest that Utah State was going to win it.
Neemias Queta was the enforcer inside once again for Utah State, and late in the second half, his dunk brought the Aggies’ fans to their feet in a hurry.
With 6:36 remaining in the game, Queta hauled in a pass from Alphonso Anderson and made a nice move toward the hoop before throwing down a monster dunk over a San Diego State defender.
NEEMIAS. QUETA. IS. MARCH!
— USU Men's Hoops (@USUBasketball) March 8, 2020
The play gave Utah State a 50-47 lead at the time and it also ignited the stretch run which led to the big win.
Sam Merrill finished with 27 points and Neemias Queta added 15 in Utah State’s big win over SDSU. Will these two teams meet up in the NCAA Tournament?
It is very possible. However, we won’t know until the official March Madness bracket is announced on March 15.