Aztecs lose to fake university, may not be particularly good

Here’s all you really need to know about this San Diego State men’s basketball loss:

Having read Zeigler’s preview, and after last year’s loss to GCU, and last week’s Loyola loss, I didn’t have much faith or emotional investment in the Aztecs pulling this one out. I’d had the following exchange with blog overlord AKH earlier in the day while negotiating who would take this recap:


Truth is I didn’t know this game started at 6pm. I got home, discovered it was already 15 minutes in, was starving, so I listened and kind of half-watched as I made dinner. The broadcast was on Channel 4 San Diego, which I wasn’t sure still was a thing. Aztecs and Padres games used to be on 4SD, and the play-by-play guy sounded enough like Ted Leitner that I thought it was Ted Leitner, and I wondered why Uncle Teddy was emoting so much when the “Lopes” hit a three. When I was able to sit and watch for a few minutes I realized it was the home-produced Grand Canyon broadcast.

The visual motif of the game was screaming, red-faced GCU head coach “Thunder” Dan Majerle stalking the sidelines. The camera never failed to catch the old Phoenix Suns hero and his bulging forehead blood vessels after a big Lopes basket. It was all the most annoying awfulness of Arizona, distilled and in concentrate.


Some of the action was shown from a very disorienting corner camera angle in that rattling sound box of a gym. The midcourt camera was behind the benches instead of a typical cross-court shot, so both coaches looked like some guy in the front row jumping up to yell at the refs.

Conjuring a for-profit university and Division I sports program out of the sand should be illegal. Playing – and now losing twice in two years to – their basketball team is like getting rolled by University of Chili’s. GCU isn’t a university. It’s a racket. It’s Bridgepoint University made into a real place. Seriously, some execs from the for-profit diploma mill University of Phoenix created an LLC and bought Grand Canyon out of near bankruptcy in 2004. It’s the first for-profit Christian college in the country. Just 19,500 of its 75,000 students (!!) are real live people going to classes; the rest are “distance learning” online.

I have no problem with the Grand Canyon student-athletes beating my alma mater’s ass two years in a row. They’re a legit, good team. I just have a huge problem with this desert carny ride conceit of a “university” kicking my alma mater’s ass two years in a row. In a few years, GCU will probably have 40,000 real students and 100,000 others getting internet degrees. They play in whatever’s left of the WAC, but watch Grand Canyon get into the Power Five before us.

What I’m saying is: fuck Grand Canyon and that deafening Logan’s Run scream room they play in. The front row of their student section were dressed like highway workers, or really are highway workers that are on some Baptist crusade, I don’t know and I don’t want to know. Please never schedule this team again.

As far as the basketball game; I saw the Aztecs not shoot or defend very well, I overheard Hemsley hitting a bunch of threes to get the Aztecs back in it, some other stuff happened, then the Tecs went on a turnover festival with the game on the line. Their last two possessions were a bumbling choke, the ball fumbled away without even getting off a pass.

The Mountain West looked like a one-bid league at the beginning of the season. SDSU has only confirmed that perception. This is an ugly loss on the résumé. Unless the Aztecs start reeling off a streak of impressive wins, their only route to the Dance will again be winning the conference tournament.

San Diego State hosts the Arizona State Sun Devils this Saturday at 4 p.m.


Author: lemonverbena

Californian/Washingtonian, co-editor of Kabeer Thirty.


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