5 Reasons Why San Diego State Will Win the 2014 NCAA Tournament

San Diego State Looks to Become First Mid-Major Team to Win NCAA Tournament

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The San Diego State Aztecs were a bit disappointed when the selection committee announced the tournament field, as they received a No. 4 seed despite ranking No. 7 in the most recent USA Today Poll. The Aztecs will now face off with New Mexico State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament but should feel confidence in their ability to make a deep run nevertheless. These five reasons will prove why they will win the whole tournament.

5. Experience Against Top Teams This Season

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5. Experience Against Top Teams This Season

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Despite playing in the weak WAC Conference, San Diego State faced off against such solid tournament teams as Creighton, Arizona, Kansas and New Mexico. The Aztecs went 3-3 against these very impressive sides, which isn't jaw dropping but does show they can compete with the big boys. While mid-majors like Wichita State will have to adjust to the upgraded level of play, San Diego State will be prepared from the get-go.

4. Great Teamwide Defense

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4. Great Teamwide Defense

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The main reason that San Diego State compiled a 29-4 record this season is their hard working style on defense, and they ranked second in the nation at 56.6 points allowed per game because of it. Even in their six toughest battles, the Aztecs only allowed 62.3 points per game, which proves they can stifle the best of the best. As the tournament progresses the scores tend to go down, and San Diego State will benefit from this.

3. San Diego Has An incredible Deep Bench

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3. San Diego Has An Incredibly Deep Bench

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While most college basketball sides only use a seven-man rotation, San Diego State routinely uses nine players for up to 15 minutes per game. This is a crucial element as the Aztecs look to keep up a hardworking defensive style for an entire game, and it's also crucial as the tournament games come with little rest on the weekend. Some teams will go down because of fatigue, but San Diego State certainly won't.

2. Star Power Scoring the Ball

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2. Star Power Scoring the Ball

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As the NCAA Tournament progresses it is nearly impossible for any team to not find one game when everything isn't clicking and they need one player to make an individual difference. For San Diego State, this player will have to be Xavier Thames, a senior guard who can shoot threes, drive the rim and has averaged 16.8 points per game this year. When things get tough, expect Thames to step up his play and put the Aztecs on his back.

1. Experience In the NCAA Tournament

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1. Experience In the NCAA Tournament

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One thing that tends to hold teams back come NCAA Tournament time is being overwhelmed by the experience, specifically for younger teams. This simply won't happen for San Diego State, as four of their top five scorers are either a junior or senior, and they have each been to the NCAA Tournament every season they played for the Aztecs. Expect this group to ensure San Diego State plays tough defense and grinds out wins on the way to a NCAA title.

 

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