San Diego State earned a fifth seed in the South Region at the NCAA Tournament, and will face Charleston in Orlando on Thursday.
The No. 20 Aztecs (27-6) will be seeking a bit of redemption during March Madness as they haven’t enjoyed a tournament victory since a 2015 win over St. John’s.
“We ended up (a) five seed, and I think deservedly so,” head coach Brian Dutcher said. “We
had a very good season.”
Their opponent, the 12th-seeded Cougars (31-3) out of South Carolina, won their second Colonial Athletic championship, securing their sixth trip to the NCAA Tournament, last week. One of their key contributors is Dalton Bolon, a guard who averaged almost 13 points per game on the season.
Matt Bradley said of Charleston, “obviously they know how to win games, they won their
last 10. They’re a really talented team, but … we’ve just got to do what we do and play the way we play.”
SDSU plays at 12:10 p.m. Thursday, in a game to air on truTV. If they win, their next game will be Saturday.
The top seed in the Aztecs’ regional is Alabama, also the top seed for the tournament. The other teams at No. 1 in their regions – Houston (31-3) in the Midwest, Kansas (27-7) in the West and Purdue (29-5) in the East.
Houston is the site for the Final Four on April 1, with the championship game set for April 3.
Two other Mountain West teams made the tournament field outright – Utah State, which SDSU defeated for the MW tournament crown, also in the South Region, and Boise State in the West.
Nevada must play a First Four game, against Arizona State, for the right to play on in the West Region.
The Aztecs, winners of both the Mountain West regular-season and tournament titles, in the last three years made the Big Dance or were bound for the event:
- 2022 – Fell to Creighton in overtime, 72-69 in the first round.
- 2021 – Lost to Syracuse 78-62, also in the opening round.
- 2020 – The 30-2 team, led by Malachi Flynn, missed out on the tournament, as the NCAA canceled it as the COVID-19 pandemic began.
Updated 10:45 p.m. March 12, 2023