March Madness is still a long way into the future, but the defenses that proverbially win championships in college basketball are already flexing their muscles. Although perennial standouts such as Virginia are dominating yet again, there are also some unexpected faces at the top of the list of shutdown teams.
One of the most surprising is San Diego State, a program recovering from severe graduation losses after playing good but unremarkable D a season ago. Now, behind a re-energized Xavier Thames, the Aztecs have been one of the toughest teams to score against in all of college hoops.
Read on for a closer look at Steve Fisher’s program, along with the rest of the 10 most impressive defenses from around the country after nearly six weeks of college hoops action.
Note: the national rankings included in this article do not incorporate any results from Wednesday's games.