He was her "slice of home."

But on Tuesday night's episode of "The Bachelorette," star Michelle Young sent home fellow Minnesotan Joe Coleman, the man she had dubbed "Minnesota Joe" and "Mr. Basketball," a nod to his prep basketball prowess.

Instead, Young gave her final two roses to Nayte Olukoya, who grew up in Winnipeg and lives in Austin, Tex.; and Brandon Jones, who lives in Portland.

The season finale of the ABC-TV reality series will air Dec. 21.

After weeks in Minnesota, the show moved to Mexico, where Young had overnight dates — so-called "fantasy suites" — with the three finalists. Jones went first. He and Young rode horses to a beach, where they kissed and shared their feelings.

"I have never met somebody who has made me feel so safe, has made my heart feel so safe," Young said.

Next, Coleman and Young ziplined and fed horses. Known for his reserve, Coleman revealed a bit of goofiness.

"I don't think I've ever felt this way with somebody," Coleman said. "I'm ready for marriage, I'm ready for partnership, I'm ready for building a life together."

Over dinner, Coleman explained that he got into real estate partly to "set the foundation for a family." He told Young that he hopes to be an example, using the tools and values he learned as an athlete. After nabbing that Mr. Basketball title at Hopkins High School, Coleman went on to compete at the University of Minnesota. Young, too, had been a prep basketball standout and Division 1 player.

Young was struck by how they both want to make a difference in the world.

"I always feel connected to you," she said, "but today was on a different level."

After spending the night together, Young described what Coleman was like with the cameras off — "just this relaxed, fun, kind-hearted person."

"Joe's my slice of home," she told the cameras. "Maybe my soulmate."

Then Young rode a catamaran with Olukoya, a frontrunner since the season premiere, when he received the "first impression rose," a major prize. She gushed over the date but expressed concern that Olukoya would be ready for an engagement.

"If he can't get there, I will be incredibly heartbroken," she said.

But over dinner, Olukoya assured her that he could see himself getting engaged to her. "I don't see myself running away. Not at all," he said. "I'm falling in love with you."

The next morning, after breakfast set to a mariachi band, Young seemed smitten.

"I firmly believe that this is what a soul mate feels like," she said.

At the rose ceremony, Young called Olukoya's name first. Then she picked Jones, leaving Coleman wide-eyed. By the time she asked to walk Coleman out, she was already teary.

"You understand a certain side of me that nobody understands," Young told him. "You have a piece of my heart. And I think you always will.

"It's just… I can't be your person."

Coleman told her that he had "really pictured the future they had talked about."

"I want to thank you for pushing me to be more open, to be more vulnerable and to be the best person I could be," he said.

In the car, Coleman cried.

"I'm in shock. I didn't see that coming," he said. "I really thought she was my person...

"You open your whole heart and then this happens."