Game Recap: Aztecs have Normal one in win over Illinois State

Coming into this Saturday’s game against Illinois State (alma mater of Steve Fisher, who used to pass out free tickets to students in his first year as San Diego State head coach) in Normal, Illinois, it was not yet entirely clear how good this Aztecs men’s basketball team is.

We know they’re “good” but with three wins over three bad teams, one win over a good team, and two blowout losses to two very good/great teams, they had yet to make a significant impact – positive or negative – on their tournament resume.

While they have a long way to go until March, SDSU added what will probably end up being a pretty solid win with a 75-65 victory over the Redbirds and improve their season record to 5-2.

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Game Recap: Luxuriously attired SDSU drops the hammer on one of the country’s worst teams

Men’s basketball’s new NET rankings, the long-awaited replacement for RPI, had a bit of a bumpy launch this week with a bizarre Top 10 and math nerds saying very unkind things about the formula. After watching the telecast of tonight’s action at Viejas Arena, I’ll give the new rankings system this: Jackson State at 349 seems … about right.

San Diego State, which debuted at 96 in NET after losing by 30 to Iowa State in Maui last week, regrouped to crush the Tigers 87-44 in a performance as pretty as the Aztecs’ turquoise Native American Heritage Month unis. Or nearly as pretty, anyway.

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Game Recap: SDSU football tumbles into molten abyss in heartbreak overtime loss to Hawai’i

Disaster.

Maybe there was nothing of real consequence on the line Saturday night as the Aztecs played out the string against Hawai’i. We walked into the Tombstone with some concern that a seven-win SDSU team in the improved Mountain West could get left without a bowl bid. That’s possible, though consensus seems to be that the only bowl-eligible team in Southern California will merit a forgettable postseason invite.

But in a larger sense, the 31-30 overtime loss felt like the night our legends and myths dissipated into mist before our eyes.

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Game Preview: Hawai’i at Aztecs

What: Football game
Who: Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors at San Diego State Aztecs
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: SDCCU Stadium
TV: ESPNU
Line: SDSU -17.5

The Stakes
At first glance, this appears to be a meaningless play-out-the-string game before a meaningless lower-tier bowl game. Turns out, the full picture is even more depressing! With a likely overflow of bowl-eligible teams and the Mountain West possibly having seven eligible teams for its five (mostly lousy) bowl tie-ins, SDSU likely needs to win its eighth game to be sure of bring invited to a meaningless lower-tier bowl game. You’ve got to work for that trip to the Gildan New Mexico Bowl, kids!

If they lose? The Aztecs might need a few things to break their way for the season to not end in ignominious fashion. In short: DEATH TO ALL 5-WIN TEAMS.

Also, maybe don’t lose.

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Game Recap: Aztecs check out early in Maui, get crushed by ISU

Thanksgiving is tomorrow and I need to get cooking, so I’m going to go ahead and give this Game Recap roughly the same effort as the San Diego State men’s basketball Aztecs put forth in their third and final game of the Maui Invitational.

First the good news: Despite getting stomped 87-57 by Iowa State this morning/afternoon, the Aztecs do not need to give back their impressive Tuesday win against Xavier. At least I think they don’t. Perhaps someone should consult the rule book just to be sure?

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Game Recap: Aztecs redeem Maui trip with memorable comeback over Xavier

A little after noon Pacific time, I was in a pretty dark place. Well, I was at work, so that goes without saying. But more so than usual even!

In my head, I was already crafting a depressing game recap about how the Aztecs were on the verge of being cast into the sea at the Maui Invitational. How the hunt for a quality nonconference win was looking grim. How one day after getting their doors blown off by No. 1 Duke, the Aztecs responded by getting their doors blown off by a team that was very decidedly not Duke.

Don’t get me wrong, Xavier is a solid Big East foe, but when you’re getting run by 19 in the first half against the Musketeers, many people would consider that time to panic.

Instead, Jalen McDaniels decided it was time to grab himself some plate lunch and fuckin’ eat.

McDaniels scored a career-high 26 points as the Aztecs roared to within three at halftime and then dominated the game’s final 15 minutes for a 79-74 win — a thrilling national TV showcase for both an NBA prospect and a team looking to build an at-large resume.

This is *not* March, but that was some good shit nonetheless.

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Game Recap: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Look man, what do you want from me here? Would you like me to break down the deficiencies, misplays and tactical errors that led to the Aztecs’ 90-64 loss to No. 1 Duke in the opening round of the Maui Invitational? Why?

That would be a little like picking apart the structural deficiencies of a really nice sports car that just got demolished by a BNSF freight train. If you don’t want your ride to get wrecked, keep it off the damn tracks. But with the Aztecs in harm’s way amid the deepest Maui field ever, here we are.

Duke, as they say, is Duke —but this year’s freshman-laden squad is extremely Duke, save for two big differences:

  1. They amazingly don’t have anyone on the roster who stands out as extremely punchable.
  2. They somehow possess more raw talent and offensive firepower than we’re used to seeing. From Duke.

Barring injury or major upset, the Blue Devils are probably going to cruise to the National Championship in March. Coach K’s guys started their season by pummeling Kentucky by 34 points. Let it be known, for the record, that the Duke Blue Devils did not beat the Aztecs by that many points (SUCK IT, KENTUCKY), nor did they win wire-to-wire.

I CAME WITH THE RECEIPTS, FOLKS:

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Game Recap: After brief tease, Fresno State game goes about as well as we all imagined it would

Deep down, we all knew it was going to go down like this — just as we all know that the Old Oil Can is a meaningless contrived rivalry trophy bought off eBay in 2011.

Still, this is some really gross shit to watch.

Fresno State clinched the Mountain West Conference West Division on Saturday night with a 23-14 win over the an SDSU team now aimlessly staggering to the finish after an inspiring start to the season.

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