The San Diego State Aztecs may have been selected to the toughest bracket out of all the Mountain West teams. In the Midwest Region, SDSU would likely have to go through NC State, Georgetown, Kansas, and UNC to reach the Final Four. That's a daunting task.
But as Coach Steve Fisher tells his team, lets take this one game at a time.
SDSU will open the Tournament against NC State. NC State, the 11 seed in the Midwest, might not have a record that knocks your socks off (22-12), but they should present a formidable challenge. Take a look, for a moment, at their losses:
- 5 seed Vanderbilt
- 4 seed Indiana
- 1 seed Syracuse
- Georgia Tech
- 1 seed UNC (x3)
- 10 seed Virginia
- 2 seed Duke
- 3 seed Florida State
To illustrate the difficulty of NC State's schedule, I emboldened their bad losses... of which there are only three. Sure, the ACC is plenty strong, and NC State failed to take care of business in said conference, but you have to wonder how they would have fared in a mid-major.
NC State will be a tough matchup for SDSU. The Wolfpack ranks 43rd in the nation in rebounds per game, and they're overall a much taller team than the Aztecs. They're led by CJ Leslie, who averages 14.6 points per game, and Richard Powell, who very nearly averages a double double a game, with 10.7 PPG and 9.3 RPG.
If the Aztecs are to win, they're going to need James Rahon to contribute. The junior guard, who was utilized as a three-point specialist much of last season, was the x-factor in the MWC Tournament Championship game on Saturday, just not in a good way. Rahon went 0-4 from beyond the arc, and 0-12 overall in 22 minutes played.
The Aztecs are set to take on the Wolfpack this Friday at 9:40AM PT, on truTV.
For NCAA Tournament coverage for Mountain West team's follow our coverage here on Mountain West Connection, and for a national view make sure to check out SB Nation's college basketball hub.