The San Diego State men’s basketball team lost their first-round NCAA Tournament game to the Houston Cougars on a frustrating, baffling, thrilling and heartbreaking night in Wichita, Kansas by a final score of 67-65.
I was going to write this either way. Win or lose.
Every year in March I go to the Mountain West Conference Basketball tournament in Las Vegas. My friends and I always have a good time drinking excessively, gambling recklessly and acting obnoxiously as we cheer for San Diego State. It makes for decent #content and is a nice way for me to recap the weekend as I pound kale smoothies on the following Monday, desperately trying to apologize to my body for the hell I put it through.
But before we get to this past weekend, let’s go back a few months to the beginning of the 2017-18 basketball season. After three straight years of significant regression, I implored the SDSU basketball team to “Teach me to love again.”
When this season began in November, I could barely get myself excited enough to read a Mark Zeigler practice update (which is good because he blocked me on Twitter so I don’t know when they’re posted anyway). But here we are in March, and folks, I AM EXTREMELY BACK.
I’m going to Wichita!
far from this opera for evermore
I’m gonna work the straw
make the sweat drip out of every pore
– The White Stripes, “Seven Nation Army”
When the San Diego State men’s basketball team settled in to watch the NCAA Tournament selection show, they surely were happy to go anywhere — except Dayton — and play anybody. After slow-rolling the reveal, TBS’ Ernie Johnson finally announced the Mountain West champs’ destination: Wichita, Kansas, to play the 21st-ranked Houston Cougars this Thursday at 4:20 PM (seriously).
One month ago, Trey Kell was a tragic story. The San Diego native was a key part of a vaunted recruiting class that disappointed, producing diminishing returns every single season. The tragedy was capped with a cruel senior campaign that saw him injured and sick and injured again.
Today, the first-year head coach and the hometown senior capped off one of the most stirring comeback stories in San Diego State sports history, beating the New Mexico Lobos in an excruciating-thrilling-horrible-wonderful 82-75 come-from-behind victory in the Mountain West Tournament title game in Vegas. The Aztecs will go to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in three seasons thanks to an improbable nine-game winning streak that had the kind of redemption arcs you only see in sports movies where the main character is a golden retriever or a field goal kicking mule.