Garrett Harris 10:11 p.m., May 23
Expectations high for Aztecs as they enter conference play
The Aztecs travel to Fresno St to open play in the Mountain West Conference.
The Aztecs begin conference play tonight, traveling to Fresno State. This is the first year that the Bulldogs are in the Mountain West Conference, but SDSU has faced them over 100 times in the past. Fresno State is 6-7 on the year and will face an Aztecs team searching for its 32nd straight win against teams from California. The Aztecs are off to a hot start with a 12-2 record. Both of the Aztecs losses came against teams ranked in the top 10 and neither were home games. Reigning conference player of the year Jamaal Franklin, as well as leading Aztec scorer Chase Tapley, will lead the Aztecs tonight. SDSU may be without Xavier Thames due to a lingering back injury.
The Aztecs have won a share of the conference title two years in a row and are eager to win their third, this time outright. The Mountain West Conference is ranked as the third best conference in terms of RPI and is predicted by many to send an astonishing 6 teams to the NCAA Tournament. The Aztecs will face quite a challenge in the Mountain West, which currently has three teams ranked in the top 25 (SDSU, UNLV, UNM), with three more ranked in the top 40. This may be the last season SDSU is in the Mountain West depending on how the conference realignment plays out. Their toughest matchups will undoubtedly be #24 UNLV and #25 UNM, who start their seasons by playing each other tonight as well.
The Aztecs have been picked my most pundits to win the conference again. What are your expectations? Let us know in the comments.