NCAA cancels basketball’s big dance, ending Aztecs magical run

Credit: KSL Sports

Credit: SDSU

The NCAA season is over, thus forcing the San Diego State men’s basketball team to cancel their appearance in the 2020 NCAA tournament.

Disappointment does not even begin to describe the feeling of San Diegans.

The NCAA canceled the tournament in a reaction to the growing threat of the COVID-19 virus spreading around the world. The Aztecs and the rest of NCAA-affiliated sports halted the remainder of all winter and spring seasons in response to the virus’s impact on the human population.

After a hard-luck loss to Utah State in their conference tournament final, San Diego State had their eyes set on competing in the NCAA tournament.

The rapid proliferation of COVID-19 in humans around the world disrupted the plans of many sporting events throughout the globe. The NCAA followed the trend set by the NBA, MLB, and NHL and canceled all games in the foreseeable future. The World Health Organization is essentially taking the ball out of the Aztecs’ hands and telling them that their season is over.

For senior-transfers Yanni Wetzell and KJ Feagin, the tournament cancelation is an especially difficult blow because, as seniors, this was their last opportunity to make and play in the national tournament.

Now, San Diego State’s season abruptly comes to a close with the Aztecs claiming the nation’s best record at 30-2. With many of San Diego State fans fearing that this historic season would end in an upset, the current scenario is truly a nightmare. San Diego State is not even going to get the chance to compete with the nation’s best college basketball teams, and that is the tragedy.

With all the anticipation about if the Aztecs could match up with college basketball’s blue-blooded competition when they got to the “Big Dance,” San Diego State’s players, coaches, and growing fan base feels like the rug is being pulled out from the bottom of their feet.

In totality, the 2019-2020 Aztecs Basketball season had much more inspirational highs than lows. The historic undefeated-run of twenty-six games, the comeback victory against Iowa to win the Las Vegas Invitational, and the thirty-six points that Malachi Flynn scored against Boise State in the team’s 30th win, all go down as highlights of an outstanding season in the Aztecs program history.

COVID-19’s ripple effect has shaken the foundation of organized sports around the world. As time moves forward and San Diego looks back on the 2019-2020 Aztecs basketball season, they can take pride but, always will wonder what could have been if March Madness was not canceled.

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Tony Fantano on Email
Tony Fantano
Tony Fantano is a native and current resident San Diegan who is all about pushing the city of San Diego to its full potential nationally and internationally. Tony earned a Bachelor's in broadcasting and journalism from San Francisco State, where he learned the importance of civic pride. Tony wants to inspire readers everywhere to be their greatest and help each other pursue personal and civic prominence.
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