Mar 14, 2024 - News

SDSU Aztecs: What to know a year after their historic March Madness run

Lamont Butler vs UNLV

Lamont Butler handles the ball earlier this season against UNLV. Photo: Louis Grasse/Getty Images

The San Diego State Aztecs begin postseason play today against rival UNLV in the Mountain West Conference tournament in Las Vegas.

Why it matters: A strong showing could improve SDSU's seed and win them bragging rights, a year after their historic NCAA Tournament run.

State of play: Regardless of their conference tournament showing, the Aztecs are expected to return to the NCAA Tournament — aka March Madness.

The big picture: It's been an up and down year for SDSU — breaking into and dropping out of the Top 25 on multiple occasions and notching a pedestrian 4-4 record in its final eight games.

  • SDSU closed the regular season Friday with a home overtime loss to Boise State, which knocked them from 21st to again being unranked.
  • The Aztecs begin defending last year's conference championship at 2:30pm today with a de facto road game, since UNLV's home court hosts the Mountain West tournament.
  • SDSU comfortably beat UNLV at home in early January but lost a close one to the Runnin' Rebels in Vegas earlier this month.
  • An Aztecs win against UNLV would earn them a matchup with top-seeded Utah State on Friday, before a potential Saturday championship game.

Catch up quick: Forward Jaedon LeDee emerged as a superstar for the Aztecs this year, leading the Mountain West with 20.5 points per game and finishing third in rebounding at eight per game.

What we're watching: ESPN and CBS Sports both project SDSU as a 5 seed in the NCAA tournament, which was SDSU's seed last year before they won five March Madness games.

  • Meanwhile, The Athletic projects them as a 6 seed — so making a run in Las Vegas gives the Aztecs their best chance of securing a manageable path through the Big Dance.

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