NCAA Basketball March MadnessSan Diego State

2014 NCAA Tournament Preview: No. 4 San Diego State vs No. 12 North Dakota State

North Dakota State Oklahoma

James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

The No. 12 seeded North Dakota State Bison pulled off the biggest upset of the 2014 NCAA Tournament so far, when they defeated the No. 5 seeded Oklahoma Sooners in the opening round of 64 in the West region. The Bison took the Sooners to overtime when Lawrence Alexander hit a late three to tie it and were able to hold on to win 80 – 75.

Next, the potential 2014 NCAA Tournament’s Cinderella will try and upset the No. 4 seeded San Diego State Aztecs and make it to the Sweet Sixteen.

San Diego State struggled to defeat No. 13 seeded New Mexico State Aggies, but got the job done in overtime after what can only be described as an extremely sloppy game for one of the best defensive teams in the nation. Several times, the Aztecs broke down and let New Mexico State players get offensive rebounds that led to baskets. San Diego State has to be worried moving forward.

What to Watch For:

Xavier Thames is going to be the best player on the floor for either team. He’s a dominating presence both offensively and defensively, who can take control of a game single-handedly. Although North Dakota State got the upset over Oklahoma, they allowed Cameron Clark to score 25 points; the Bison aren’t a fantastic team defending against athletic guards. Expect Thames to have a huge game for the Aztecs win or lose.

Prediction:

Just like every neutral college basketball fan, I’m rooting for North Dakota State to pull off another legendary upset. However, San Diego State is a much better team defensively than anything that the Bison have ever seen. Oklahoma was overrated all season long; they beat absolutely no one in non-conference play. The Aztecs aren’t going to fall so easily.

San Diego State 60, North Dakota State 50

Taylor Sturm is a Columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @TSturmRS, like him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.