Why You Were Meant to Root for San Diego State

San Diego State players and coaches celebrate after a 62-58 win over Boise State in an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb 27, 2021, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Gregory Bull/Associated Press

Are you a trendsetter? Then beat the crowd and jump on the San Diego State bandwagon before it's full.


San Diego State's Tourney History

The Aztecs aren't quite March Madness newbies. They made six consecutive tournament appearances from 2010 to 2015, twice reaching the Sweet 16 as top contenders. However, they've never gone further, and the last try didn't end well.

Last year could have been their golden opportunity. At a dominant 30-2, they ranked No. 6 in the nation before COVID-19 shuttered the campaign. Having once again ended the regular season atop the Mountain West Conference, they'll get another chance to finally reach the Final Four.


This Year's Best Players

Joe Buglewicz/Associated Press

It's a team effort for the Aztecs, who possess a deep rotation headlined by upperclassmen.

Seniors Jordan Schakel and Matt Mitchell, both California natives, lead the way in scoring. Inserted into the starting lineup in late January, 5'8" guard Terrell Gomez can also pile up points in bunches. Nathan Mensah provides pivotal interior defense to an otherwise undersized squad.

This isn't the team to watch if scouting future NBA talent, but it's a well-rounded, well-oiled machine.


Why They're Going to Win

San Diego State has the makings of a trendy sleeper pick. Going with the small-conference squad is always fun, but the Aztecs also possess an elite defense and an efficient offense that won't get overmatched on the grand stage.

Don't you want to get in on the ground floor before everyone pretends they were there all along?