The San Diego State Aztecs will take the Mountain West Conference's highest seed ever (beating New Mexico's 3 seed last season) to try and win their first NCAA game in school history after six failed attempts. They will take on the auto-bid team from the Big Sky Conference Northern Colorado whom the Aztecs have had recent experience against. The two teams split a home-and-home tilt with each team winning the road game. Out of the current Aztecs starters, only Gay and White were on the roster for those games. Still, much is being made of the fact that Northern Colorado beat the favored Aztecs in San Diego and that Gay and the Aztecs were booed off the court by the home crowd.
The Bears (21-10 13-3 Big Sky) are led by "mini Jimmer" Devon Beitzel who averages 21.4 points per game. Northern Colorado has actually played two other Mountain West schools this season beating Wyoming early in the season 67-53 but losing to Colorado State 75-61. They don't have any other common opponents this season. The two teams did play close in their last two games but the rosters are almost completely different now so you can't really take anything from that.
Everyone around here knows the Aztecs by now and there won't be any big changes for the tournament. The Aztecs should have absolutely no trouble tossing the Bears aside, but the fact that SDSU is 0-6 all time in the tournament makes it a little bit nerve racking. As long as they don't get too nervous and just play Aztec basketball they should be fine and get the proverbial monkey off of the back of the program. Once they do that, there is no limit to how far they can get in the tournament.
If the Aztecs win, they will play the winner of Penn State and Temple in the round of 32. Both teams are mediocre and the Aztecs should have no trouble reaching the Sweet 16. After that, they have to play great basketball to move on. I have them losing to Ohio State in the Final 4, but Kyrie Irving's potential return to Duke would put a hamper on those plans.