March Madness: SDSU routs Yale 85-57, returns to Sweet 16

LeDee, Trammell lead the Aztecs to a rematch of last year’s national title match against UConn on Thursday.

Sunday, March 24, 2024
SDSU huddles with coach Brian Dutcher during their match against UAB in the NCAA tournament.
The Aztecs and the UConn Huskies will meet Thursday night in Boston to face off in the East region’s semifinal bracket.

It's back-to-back for the red and black. The Aztecs are returning to the Sweet 16 in consecutive years for the first time in school history.

All-American Jaedon LeDee powered San Diego State University to a dominating win Sunday over the Yale Bulldogs, 85-57, in the second round of the 2024 NCAA tournament. 

SDSU’s rout over the Bulldogs sets up a rematch of 2023’s national championship against the East region’s top-seeded University of Connecticut.

The fifth-seeded Aztecs set the tone early sprinting to a 10-0 lead inside the first five minutes of the match, five of those points coming from LeDee on a layup for SDSU's first points of the game and then a 3-pointer.

Lamont Butler, the Mountain West’s defensive player of the year, and the SDSU defense put the clamps on Yale’s shooters.  Bulldogs standout John Poulakidas was held to 0-for-5 shooting at the break while the rest of the team shot 9-for-28 from the field in the half. Yale’s 21 points was its lowest first-half point total this season.

"We limited them to tough shots, tough twos," said LeDee, who grabbed seven defensive rebounds and recorded one steal. "That's what the game plan was...we limited them to their second-chance points and we hit the glass pretty hard."

SDSU coasted to a 45-21 lead in the first period.

Yale, riding the momentum from their defensive stand in the final seconds of their come-from-behind win over fourth-seeded Auburn on Friday, found themselves trailing SDSU by double-digits the rest of the game. 

Yale yielded a total of 13 made three-pointers to five different Aztecs, a season-high for SDSU. Guard Darrion Trammell was 4-for-7 from behind the arc, finishing with 18 points for the game.

LeDee showcased another commanding performance, recording 26 points and nine rebounds before taking a rest with over eight minutes left in the game. In Friday night’s first-round win over UAB, LeDee scored 32 points, the most by an Aztec in NCAA tournament history. He’s averaging 29 points per game in this tournament compared to eight PPG in last year’s tournament.

"Just staying focused, that's really all it is," LeDee said about his play this postseason. "Just out there playing and executing the game plan and letting it flow to my teammates. That's really all I'm doing out there."

The Aztecs and the UConn Huskies will meet Thursday night in Boston to face off in the East region’s semifinal bracket. UConn is largely favored to repeat as the Division I men’s basketball champions.

"I'll be intimidated, but I'll get 'em ready to play," said coach Brian Dutcher. "We'll go out there and we'll play in a hostile environment in Boston against a great UConn team and see where it ends up. That's the beauty of playing these games.

"We're going to go in with a game plan and with a bunch of guys that believe they can win and we'll see how it ends."

The winner of that game will move on to play in the Elite Eight against the winner of the other semifinal between No. 2 Iowa State and No. 3 Illinois.

TD Garden - Boston, MA
(1) UConn vs. (5) San Diego State | 7:39 p.m. | TBS/truTV

Categorized As