It’s all San Diego State hoops all the time and why not?
Six straight NCAA tournament trips is making this a March tradition, much like ShamRock in the Gaslamp Quarter.
If it reminds you of the Poinsettia Bowl, we see why: SDSU (home team) vs. Navy (home port).
Hopefully the No. 9 Aztecs can avoid heaving anchors at the basket — I’m sorry, those are shots. Luckily those manning destroyers have better aim.
But remember in Saturday’s loss to Wyoming for the Mountain West tournament title when the SDSU shot 32 percent — who cares! At this time of the year you can’t let a team beat you twice and if you’re head is in Las Vegas your backside will soon be in San Diego.
The Aztecs embark for North Carolina and nothing could be finer — other than Duke waiting in a potential second-round match up. Coach K (Mike Krzyzewski) going against Coach Ageless (Steve Fisher) would make for some NCAA tournament fun.
But first SDSU, a Sweet 16 team last year, has to wiggle past the ninth-seeded Red Storm and we’re not sure what kind of nickname that is either. What we do know is the Red Storm doesn’t have a saint for a center.
In the hours before the brackets were announced, St. John’s center Chris Obekpa was suspended for two weeks. When he’s eligible, the Red Storm will be the toast of NYC or, simply, toast.
With St. John’s small lineup, the absence of Obekpa could be significant.
Obekpa doesn’t spin the scoreboard much (averaging under six points per game) but he’s the school’s career block leader. Think of him as an East Coast version of SDSU’s Skylar Spencer and you’re not far off.
Although SDSU travels three times to reach their opening tilt.
“I’m glad we are playing Friday,” Fisher said. “We will be prepared.”
That’s always a slam dunk with Fisher’s charges, no matter the outcome. Fisher stressed the past is just that and the goal three weekends of madness.
“Getting in is an accomplishment,” Fisher said. “Now we want to win.”
St. John’s once won the recruiting battle for Dwayne Polee II. But he transferred to SDSU and that he ends his career against the school he started it with it is need, if not odd.
“I don’t feel weird at all,” Polee said. “At the end of the day, it’s basketball.”
At the end of the year — for the last six — SDSU has gone dancing.
“I think the experience we have in big games against big teams helps,” forward JJ O’Brien said. “We have a lot of guys that have been through it so none of it should be new to us. Come tournament time when we face big teams, we will be ready.”
Ready or not, March Madness is here with SDSU looking to be crazy-good.
+ Contact Jay Paris at firstname.lastname@example.org