2013 NCAA tournament: San Diego State vs. Florida Gulf Coast preview

USA TODAY Sports

San Diego State should be on their way to the Sweet 16, but they go up against a very athletic Florida Gulf Coast squad that is coming off of a big upset over Georgetown.

The No. 7 seeded San Diego St. Aztecs are the Mountain West's last hope o attempting to salvage the leagues post season perception, but they really should not be concerned with that. The Aztecs need to be looking out for themselves in Sunday's game against No. 15 Florida Gulf Coast Eagles.

The Aztecs earned some good luck when Florida Gulf Coast upset Georgetown, not with a barrage of three-point shots, but with alley-oops and monster dunks.

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Now that you had time to stare at those for a few minutes, lets get into the game.

San Diego State is looking to go to their second Sweet 16 for the second time in three years, and if they play like they did in the second half against Oklahoma they will have no issue with FGCU. However, if San Diego State goes into a slump like they can, then this game could be a close one.

One thing that can be said about teams who have a huge upset in the first round is that their second round performance is likely to be flat. Look no further than Harvard's poor performance against Arizona where they lost 74-51.

As mentioned this Florida Gulf Coast team is very athletic, and San Diego State starter DeShawn Stephens gives an apt description of the Eagles offense:

"They look like a track team on the basketball court," Stephens said. "We've got to turn, run and be ready, because they're coming at you."

Florida Gulf Coast on offense likes to spread the floor on offense and like to run ball screens in the corner of the court. By doing that, if big men bite then that can lead to easy buckets down low, and that is exactly what happened in the second half against Georgetown.

On defense, Florida Gulf Coast likes to mix up their sets early on and then go with what works for them for most of the game. Air Force utilizes a similar attack by switching from man to a zone defense, so the Aztecs have some experience with teams that like to mix up their defensive sets. San Diego State will need to be ready for what Florida Gulf Coast brings, and not get confused with a new look.

Here are the players to watch for Florida Gulf Coast.

Chase Fieler, forward: He is averaging 12.2 points per game and 5.5 boards. In the win over Georgetown he had nine points, five rebounds and three blocks. He has some defense down low to cause trouble against San Diego State.

Sherwood Brown, guard: Brown leads the team with 15.3 points, and also is their leading rebounder with 6.4 per game. Against Georgetown he came up huge with 24 points and nine boards.

Bernard Thompson, guard: He is the second leading scorer with 14 per game, but he put up 23 points over Georgetown plus seven rebounds.

Florida Gulf Coast has some offense on their team, so the Aztecs defense needs to come prepared to slow down the Eagles offensive attack. San Diego State can not take this team lightly at all and needs to come out early and try to shut this team down and not allow them to stick around. That is exactly what I think will happen.

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