It's a day that ends in "-y" in March which means that a big game-winner was hit somewhere in the realm of college basketball. The latest big hero is Utah State senior guard Sam Merrill, who hit a three in the final seconds to give the Aggies a very late 59-56 lead over San Diego State, which they eventually converted into an upset win over the No. 5-ranked Aztecs to win the Mountain West Conference Tournament.
Merrill, the 2019 MWC Player of the Year, was just one of two players on Utah State that reached double digits against San Diego State on Saturday -- the other being sophomore center Neemias Queta. The senior played all 40 minutes and scored 27 points in the final, with every minute and every point necessary to get the Aggies the win. Merrill also scored 27 points in his team's 89-82 semifinal win over Wyoming, but he was able to sit for a couple of minutes in that one.
With this win, Utah State has guaranteed its place in the NCAA Tournament for a second consecutive year. In 2019, they earned a No. 8-seed in the tournament which snapped an eight-year absence from the Big Dance.