Thursday, January 13, 2011

San Diego State Taking College Basketball By Storm

Kawhi Leonard
Photo courtesy of SDSU Media Relations

If you don't know who the San Diego State Aztecs are, and no I'm not talking about their football program, they are giving you every reason why you should start watching the team that now has the longest winning stream in the country.

When the college basketball season began, teams like Duke, North Carolina, Syracuse and a host of others normally get the most run on the national networks. No one talked about San Diego State and I'm not sure that anyone would have guessed they would be where they are right now.

As of last night the Duke Blue Devils entered their game against Florida State riding a 25-game winning streak. San Diego State had won their first 17 games of the season and was unbeaten.

By the time the night was over, Duke was dropped by the Seminoles and the Aztecs were able to outlast UNLV, 55-49, in what became a very physical match up between these two teams.

In the game between the Aztecs and Runnin' Rebels there were six technical fouls handed out and tempers flared more than once. But you can't expect much less from two teams battling in an inner-conference showdown. UNLV was the team San Diego State knocked off to win the Mountain West Conference Championship and an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.

Now that San Diego State came out still unbeaten (18-0), one of four teams who are still unbeaten and that sixth ranking the Aztecs had coming into Wednesday night's game will surely move up a spot or two after Duke's lost on the same night.

If you're a college basketball fan, this is a team that you need to keep your eye on. Sure you can say the same thing college football fans say about mid-major teams but it'll just bore me so spare me the "well they couldn't win this many games in this conference."

This shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone especially seeing as this is the same squad that went through their conference tournament and into March Madness last season. They were just giving you a taste of what's to come.

The only question on the table right now is, how far can this team go? Can they make a deeper run through the NCAA Tournament in 2011?

It's not a question we can answer right now but the way things are looking so far, I'd say they had a great shot at being another "Cinderella" story. Just without the "who are they and where did they come from" type of plot.

Isn't this exactly the kind of team that a lot of us root for over the usual teams that get into the tournament? Wouldn't you root for the Aztecs to be another George Mason, shocking big name teams along the way?

They are the exact reason why March Madness is the biggest and most popular post season tournament in sports. It takes teams like the Aztecs, Valparaiso, George Mason, and a host of others that make us stand up and take notice. It's also the reason a lot of us want a playoff in college football, but I digress.

Keep your eye on this San Diego State Aztecs basketball team for the rest of the 2011 season. They've given you 18 straight reasons why you shouldn't sleep on this team and they may give you a few more as the season rolls on.

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