5-seed Aztecs set to face 13-seed Yale

The Aztecs are making their 16th appearance in the Division I event, owning a 12-15 record.

Friday, March 22, 2024
SDSU basketplayer Darrion Trammell shown on the court during Aztecs' round one game of the NCAA Tournament.
San Diego State and Yale are meeting for the second time with the Bulldogs owning the lone victory in the series. (SDSU)

Having advanced to the NCAA tournament for a fourth consecutive season and the round of 32 for the second straight time under head coach Brian Dutcher, fifth-seeded San Diego State will face 13-seeded Yale in an East Region second-round game at the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena in Spokane, Wash, on March 24 at 6:40 p.m. PT.


The Aztecs are making their 16th appearance in the Division I event, owning a 12-15 record. Head coach Brian Dutcher has been on the Aztec sidelines for 24 of the program's 27 all-time tournament games and all 12 of the program's victories.

This is the fifth NCAA appearance for Dutcher, the two-time Mountain West Conference Coach of the Year, in his seven seasons as head coach with a likely appearance in the 2019-20, when the Aztecs were 30-2, canceled because of the COVID pandemic.

This is the program's 11th tournament appearance in the last 14 seasons that a champion was crowned. That total does not include the 2019-20 season when SDSU was 30-2 and ranked sixth in the AP poll when the season ended prior to the tournament.

San Diego State is competing in the East Region for the first time in program history. In first and second round games, SDSU has a 5-3 record in the South Region, a 4-5 mark in the West Region, are 0-3 in the Midwest Region and now 1-0 in the East Region for an overall record in the first weekend of 10-11.

The Aztecs come into the NCAA Tournament having played in its seventh consecutive Mountain West Tournament championship game, its 10th in the last 11 years and over all its 16th in the 25 years of the conference's existence.

The Aztecs metrics rank among the best in the nation. Through the games of March 22, the Aztecs were ranked No. 20 in the NET, No. 16 in KPI, No. 20 in Kenpom, No. 29 in T-Rank and No. 31 in BPI. San Diego State's NET strength of schedule is No. 25.

San Diego State owns a 133-33 record (80.1 percent) since the start of the 2019-20 campaign. That's the third-best record in the nation, trailing Gonzaga's 147-20 (88.0 percent), and Houston's 147-26 (85.0 percent), and ahead of Baylor's 128-34 (79.0 percent) and Kansas' 134-36 (78.8 percent) records.

San Diego State owns the sixth-best record in the nation since the start of the 2009-10 campaign, 360-115 (.758), and is 161-90 (.641) road and neutral site contests in that time frame which is the seventh-best in the nation.

San Diego State and Yale are meeting for the second time with the Bulldogs owning the lone victory in the series. The first meeting came on Jan. 2, 1992, at San Diego Sports Arena. Yale took down the Aztecs, 69-62.

San Diego State is 4-3 all-time against the current membership of the Ivy League, and lost its last game against the conference, 82-61, against Brown at Steve Fisher Court at Viejas Arena. 

With its win over No. 18 Utah State (March 15), San Diego State improved to 14-9 (.609) under Brian Dutcher against AP Top-25 teams. The Aztecs were 29-98 (.228) against AP Top-25 teams prior to Dutcher taking over as head coach in 2017-18. SDSU's .609 winning percentage against AP Top-25 teams since the 2017-18 season is the highest in the country (min. 20 games). Rounding out the top 5 are Kansas (.602), Virginia (.591), Duke (.588) and Gonzaga (.587).

Seven of San Diego State's 10 losses this season have come on the road against Quad 1 opponents, and six of those seven defeats have come by nine points or less. SDSU has lost Quad 1 road or neutral site games, eight in all, by 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 & 18 points. The other Quad 1 loss came in its last regular-season game, 77-79, vs. Boise State in Viejas Arena. The Aztecs lone other loss was a Quad 2 game at UNLV, 71-74, on the Rebels Senior Night.

San Diego State's 36 conference tournament wins since the 2008-09 season are the most in the country over that span (Gonzaga is second at 33).

Senior forward Jaedon LeDee has been named a second-team All-American by The Sporting News and Field of 68, a third-team honoree by the Associated Press and an honorable mention performer by the USBWA. In addition, he is a finalist for the Karl Malone Award, which recognizes the nation's top power forward and is on the national ballot for the John R. Wooden Award for the national player of the year, but strangely did not win the Mountain West Player of the Year as voted on by the coaches in the league.

Dutcher is in his seventh season as San Diego State's head coach and his 25th season on the Aztec sidelines. In his six-plus seasons as head coach, he has led the Aztecs to five conference titles, seven Mountain West championship game appearances, a 176-57 (.755) overall record, the 2023 NCAA national championship game, has been named the national coach of the year, and twice the Mountain West Conference Coach of the Year.

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