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NCAA Basketball

2013 NCAA Tournament: No. 7 San Deigo State vs. No. 15 Florida Gulf Coast

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Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

How’s that bracket looking? Yes, I know, the No. 2 Georgetown Hoyas ruined your bracket, but they probably ruined just about every other bracket that was filled out as well. You are not alone.

Anyways, what a victory for the No. 15 Florida Gulf Coast Eagles. This is their first NCAA Tournament appearance and they managed to make history by knocking off a No. 2 seed in the second round.

The Eagles will have to take on the No. 7 San Diego State Aztecs. Although this may not be as good of a San Diego State team as ones in the past, it is still a very good one.

What to Watch For

Can Florida Gulf Coast create some more history by making it to the Sweet 16? I highly doubt it, but the thought of it is pretty cool. If the Eagles have any shot at doing so, Sherwood Brown and Bernard Thompson will have to continue where they left off. Both players combined for 47 points against the Hoyas and shot 6-12 together from behind the arc.

Jamaal Franklin is one to watch for the Aztecs. Franklin scored 21 points and grabbed eight boards against the No. 10 Oklahoma Sooners. Chase Tapley is also one to keep an eye on, despite not scoring as much as Franklin in the second round, but his 10 points were not bad by any means.

Prediction

As much as I–along with the rest of the world–want to see Florida Gulf Coast be this year’s Cinderella by making a Sweet 16 run, it is not going to happen. Give the Eagles all of the credit in the world for beating Georgetown, but San Diego State will be prepared for this team and it is very talented to say the least. However, those would be very bright slippers if the Eagles could pull off the victory.

San Deigo State 75 Florida Gulf Coast 62

 

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NCAA Tournament Profile: San Diego State Aztecs

Record: 26-8

RPI: 26

BPI: 42

Conference: Mountain West Conference

How They Qualified: At-Large Berth

Region: No. 8 in the South

 

Another year in the Mountain West, and yet another year the San Diego State Aztecs were one of the conference’s top teams (tied for first place with the Boise State Broncos in the regular season conference standings).

The MW hasn’t been getting a whole lot of love this year, but this isn’t San Diego State’s first rodeo — not even close. In fact, most fans probably expect the Aztecs to make the tournament on a yearly basis now.

 

What You Need to Know:

Leading Scorer: Aqeel Quinn, Winston Shepard (11.1 PPG)

Leading Rebounder: Winston Shepard (5.3 RPG)

Leading Passer: J.J. O’Brien (2.5 APG)

Bad Losses: Fresno State, Washington

Good Wins: Utah, BYU, Pittsburgh, Wyoming (twice), Colorado State (twice)

 

Needless to say, the Aztecs challenged themselves this season, and got a huge win over Utah. They also played the Arizona Wildcats (only lost by two points) and Cincinnati Bearcats (lost in overtime). Both teams are also part of the field of 68.

Yeah, San Diego State certainly didn’t have an easy non-conference schedule, but that should only benefit it in the dance, a tournament that features an endless amount of talent and a boatload of teams with different playing styles.

The Aztecs made it to the Sweet 16 last season, but that team also had Xavier Thames. The NCAA tournament can be a weird beast, though, so it will be interesting to see if this version of San Diego State can go on a deeper run.

The San Diego State Aztecs are dancing!

Trevor Lowry is a Content Associate at RantSports.com. If you’re a tweeter feel free to follow him @TheTrevorLowry, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

The San Diego State Aztecs will be making yet another appearance in the NCAA tournament.

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