Mar 28, 2024 - News

Aztecs look to slay Goliath in Sweet 16 tilt with UConn

Jaedon LeDee dunks against Yale

Jaedon LeDee dunks against Yale in the Aztecs' second-round victory. Photo: Steph Chambers/Getty Images

The Aztecs resume their March Madness run at 4:39pm today against the Huskies, the top-ranked team remaining in the tournament and defending national champion.

Why it matters: SDSU is no longer a Cinderella, showing the sustained success of a top program even while playing in a mid-major conference that had a rough tourney showing.

Yes, but: The Aztecs are the biggest underdogs in the Sweet 16, with UConn favored to win by 10.5 points.

  • It doesn't help that SDSU plays the earliest game of the round, fresh off playing the last game of the second round Sunday.
  • After flying home from Spokane, Washington, early Monday morning, they flew Tuesday to Boston to play in TD Garden, about 90 miles from UConn's campus.

Catch up quick: Star forward Jaedon LeDee was a force in the first two rounds, picking up where he left off in his award-winning 2023 season.

  • He and senior guards Darrion Trammell and Lamont Butler take on a 33-3 UConn team that has won five national championships in the past 25 years.

State of play: UConn ended the Aztecs' season in last year's national championship, and in the 2011 Sweet 16.

The other side: UConn is led by 7-foot center Donovan Clingan, who averages 13 points and seven rebounds a game and is projected as a top pick in the NBA draft.

  • Freshman guard Stephon Castle, also expected to be a high draft pick, averages 10 points and three assists.
  • But senior guard Tristen Newton actually leads the team in scoring, while averaging six assists and six rebounds per game.

The big picture: An Aztecs win to send them to the Elite 8 on Saturday would be a giant upset — and why it's called March Madness in the first place.

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