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Mountaintop View 3-27-23.

Aztecs to the Final Four, “Mountain division” SP+, SDSU spring game, Rams start spring ball, Golf POTW

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament South Regional-Creighton vs San Diego State Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

It’s Monday, and we are back at it. For the first time EVER, the Mountain West has a basketball team in the Final Four of the NCAA tournament. Check out our original coverage and what we can find from the world wide web below.

San Diego State wins two games, heads to the Final Four!

The Aztecs have pulled off the improbable and become the first Mountain West team to make it to the Final Four. They beat #1 overall seed Alabama and then Creighton in similar ways; stifling defense and just enough offense to come out ahead. But the SDSU defense has been the real story, limiting opponents to 64 and 56 points in the past two games. Arguably, even more impressive is their 3-point defense. Per Jay Tust, they limited Alabama to 2-16 from beyond the arc and held Creighton to 0-10 from three. It may not be pretty, but it’s incredibly effective. Now they take on Cinderella FAU on Saturday.

“Mountain division” SP+ discussion.

Even though the conference is doing away with divisions in the 2023 season, Bill Connelly breaks up the conference preview by looking at teams from the old divisions. He sees Boise State as the best team, thinking the returning production from the offense will cover for any reloading that needs to take place on defense in the early going. He thinks the opposite will be true for Air Force, which should be stout on defense while they figure out their new offensive pieces. After returning very little production going into 2022, Wyoming now returns the bulk of their production in 2023, which bodes well for the young team. He sees both Colorado State and New Mexico being better than their 2022 versions but thinks the Rams could take a more noticeable jump this year. Lots of great stuff here.

Colorado State Spring Ball.

After pushing things back a bit, the Rams begin spring practices today. There is a lot to work on following a disappointing season. Some positions are set, like QB, some WRs, plus a DE and S. But others are wide open, especially offensive line and linebacker. Colorado State brought in tons of new players in attempts to rebuild the offense line, can the unit come together this spring? And can they restock a defense that was pretty good in MWC play last year?

Aztec spring game brings predictable results.

SDSU wrapped up spring ball this weekend, culminating in a 19-0 scrimmage, with Team Aztec beating Team Warrior. It wasn’t surprising that defense stood out more than offense, although there was a passing touchdown in addition to a running one. But the defense produced the biggest highlights, a combined five interceptions, one fumble recovery, 13 tackles for loss, six sacks, and 12 pass breakups. Team Warrior was led by starting quarterback Jaylen Mayden, so it is a bit concerning they couldn’t score.

Mountain West Golfers of the week.

Spring Ball Schedules:

This will be updated as more information comes in.

AFA: Feb 14-March 4 (Spring Game)

BSU: March 2-April 8 (Spring Game)

CSU: March 27-April 22 (Spring Game)

FSU: March 6-April 15 (Spring Game)

Hawaii: Feb 6-March 3 (Spring Game)

Nevada: March 15 - April 22 (Spring Game)

New Mexico: Feb 14-March 8 (Spring Game March 6)

SDSU: Feb 20-March 23 (Spring Game)

SJSU: April 4-May 6 (Spring Game)

UNLV: March 1-April 8 (Spring Game)

Utah State: March 20-April 22 (Spring Game)

Wyoming: March 28-April 29 (Spring Game)

On the horizon:

  • Later today: A new MWC Recruiting Roundup with the latest news, offers, and commitments.
  • Coming Tuesday: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly: Head Coaches
  • Coming Tuesday: Reacts: All about the Final Four
  • Coming Wednesday: Peak Perspective: How can New Mexico break out of its cycle?