Air Force registered its third ever win against a ranked opponent and second in as many years against San Diego State.
Michael Lyons tallied 20 points in the Falcons' 70-67 triumph over the 22nd- ranked Aztecs.
Jamaal Franklin and James Rahon both missed potentially game-tying 3-pointers in the final five seconds.
"We knew that Franklin was probably going to take the shot and he misses. We told our guys after the game that we could have rebounded it and not given them a second shot. When Rahon shot it I was think about the TCU game last year and I thought it was going in and we were headed for overtime. How neat was it to see the cadets run on the court when it was over? This is a pretty neat moment," Air Force head coach Dave Pilipovich said of the final possession.
Air Force is now 3-81 all-time against ranked foes. The Falcons registered a 58-56 win over the Aztecs last season. Air Force's other victory over a ranked opponent came on Feb. 15, 1992 against UTEP.
Todd Fletcher added 13 points and five assists for the Falcons (14-6, 5-2 MWC), who have won five straight games.
Franklin recorded 25 points, 10 rebounds and six assists for San Diego State (16-5, 4-3), which has dropped three of its last five contests.
"Franklin's a good player," SDSU head coach Steve Fisher said. "You play to your strength and make your opponent do something different to stop what they're doing and he made plays the last 10 or 12 minutes that allowed us to fight our way back in."
A 19-2 Falcons run vaulted them to a 59-47 advantage before the Aztecs countered with a 17-5 surge to knot the contest at 64-64 with 2:26 remaining.
Franklin had 13 points during the swing, including the last five.
Four straight points by Lyons, sandwiched around a Chase Tapley layup, made it 68-66 in favor of Air Force with 1:30 to go. Tapley stole an outlet pass from Todd Fletcher and fed Franklin, who drew a foul. But he split a pair from the stripe to keep the Falcons in front with 55.1 remaining.
Kamry Williams sunk two free throws with 19.1 to play before Franlin and Rahon missed their attempts at tying the game.
The Falcons took a 35-30 edge into the break.
The Falcons are 10-2 this season when they score 70 points or more. They are 4-4 when scoring less than 70 ... San Diego State was 2-of-19 from beyond the arc.