NCAA Hoops Mountain West
San Diego State rained 3’s on Air Force Saturday. Here Malachi Flynn makes the shot. Photo credit: Screenshot, @Aztec_MBB, via Twitter

Aztec fans got a glimpse Saturday of how the thinking is going for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Selection Committee. They regard San Diego State well indeed.

The Division I committee previewed its early position on seeds, and if it was February Frenzy rather than March Madness, SDSU would be one of the four No. 1 seeds.

The committee placed San Diego State atop the East Region, ranked No. 4 overall among the 16 teams evaluated. The Aztecs led Duke, Maryland and Butler in the region.

The projections came out hours ahead of SDSU’s 89-74 win at Air Force Saturday. Their record improves to 24-0 on the season and 13-0 in the Mountain West.

The Falcons, 9-15 overall and 3-9 in the conference, lost their sixth in a row, yet played the Aztecs tight until about five minutes remained in the game.

Until then San Diego State had taken leads of 10 or more three times, only to see Air Force claw back to within a possession of tying the game.

They turned to three-pointers to get out of trouble, hitting 14 for the game.

Four Aztecs scored in double figures, with KJ Feagin leading the way with 21 points – 15 from beyond the arc.

“First time all year you can say that our offense carried us to a win,” coach Brian Dutcher told XTRA 1360.

If the NCAA’s predictions hold going into the tournament, set to begin March 17,  San Diego State would play in the Sacramento regional.

The Aztecs though have never been a No. 1 seed. Their highest rank came nearly a decade ago, when the Kawhi Leonard-led team earned a No. 2 spot in the West Region in the 2011 NCAA Tournament.

The three other early No. 1 seeds were Baylor (No. 1 overall, South Region), Kansas (No. 2 overall, Midwest Region) and Gonzaga (No. 3 overall, West Region).

In each of the last three years, three of the projected No. 1 seeds remained the top seeds on Selection Sunday. The 68 teams are set to be unveiled March 18.

San Diego State, the last undefeated team in the nation, held its No. 4 ranking this week in both major polls.

The Aztecs play New Mexico at home at 8 p.m. Tuesday, a game that will air on ESPN2.

– Staff reports