No. 4 San Diego State Aztecs (25-0) at Boise State Broncos (17-9)
Sunday, February 16- 1:00 pm CBS Sports Network
Extra Mile Arena- Boise, Idaho
The San Diego State Aztecs men’s basketball team travel to Boise, Idaho, on Sunday afternoon to defend their flawless record against the 17-9 Boise State Broncos.
Last Tuesday, SDSU hosted the New Mexico Lobos at home in front of a sold-out Viejas Arena. The Aztecs won 82-59 and swept the Lobos in the schools two meetings during the Mountain West’s Conference schedule. San Diego’s victory on Tuesday night secured the 2019-2020 Mountain West Conference title. Afterward, the Aztecs celebrated with their fans on the court by cutting down the nets.
Coach Dutcher, who was wet from a post-game “Gatorade Bath” spoke to the media about how proud he was after winning the regular-season conference title, “ To have the title outright already with four games to play is an incredible accomplishment. I told them in the locker room now we have to get greedy and try and win them all. And it won’t be easy. Now that we have the title, we have another goal, that goal being to have a perfect season,” Coach Dutcher said.
Matt Mitchell, who put up 22 points against New Mexico, spoke to the media after the game about what it meant to him to eclipse the 1,000 point mark during his career as an Aztec. “It was special to me (not only) because I was able to reach it, but (to) reach it on the night that we hang a banner and win the conference. I will definitely cherish tonight, but tomorrow we have to let it go and move on to the next games we have,” Mitchell said.
With every win, this season, the target on San Diego’s back grows larger, and the pressure to remain unbeaten increases. Boise State lost to San Diego State in their last meeting at Viejas Arena 83-65. KJ Feagin, Yanni Weztell, Malachi Flynn, and Matt Mitchell combined for 72 points and helped earn the Aztec’s 17th win.
Since last losing in San Diego, the Broncos have gone 5-2. Those two losses were away at Air Force 85-75 and 70-61 to pre-season conference favorites, Utah State.
With a 9-5 record in the conference, the Broncos are in a three-way tie for second place with Nevada and Utah State. During their non-conference schedule, Boise earned their only signature win of the season against BYU, who also lost to SDSU during their non-conference schedule.
Boise State is desperate to add another win over a ranked team to strengthen their tournament resume. SDSU will need to be prepared. Boise State’s small chance of earning a bid to the NCAA Tournament is dependent on if they can upset the recently-crowned conference titleholders.
Boise State’s coach Leon Rice held a post-practice huddle where he demonstrated some pyrotechnics to pump his team up for Sunday’s big game.
Coach Rice is ?d up for Sunday. We need you in the stands to MATCH the intensity! #BleedBlue
— Boise State MBB (@BroncoSportsMBB) February 13, 2020
The Aztecs, who statistically have the NCAA’s fourth-best defense, plan on limiting Boise State’s two scoring leaders Derrick Alston Jr. and Justinian Jessup.
In their last meeting with the Broncos, the Aztecs limited Jessup and Alston Jr. to only 16 points combined. San Diego State is looking to remain perfect on the season and earn their 26th win, while Boise State is anxious to defeat the Aztecs who stand alone on top of the Mountain West.
Tip-off is set for Sunday at 1 pm time at Extra Mile Arena.