5 Reasons Why San Diego State Will Upset Arizona in the Sweet 16

5 Reasons Why San Diego State Will Upset Arizona in the Sweet 16

San Diego State Team Steve Fisher J.J. O'brien Coaches
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Las Vegas has San Diego State as 6.5-point underdogs in the rematch against Arizona based on a few things like Arizona's blowout victory over Gonzaga and Arizona's head-to-head victory in November at Viejas Arena. Now with a trip to the Elite Eight on the line, here are five reasons San Diego State gets to play another game at the Honda Center.

5. Xavier Thames

Xavier Thames NCAA Tournament Press Conference
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

5. Xavier Thames

Xavier Thames NCAA Tournament Press Conference
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s put it like this; the boat doesn’t move without the captain. San Diego State’s 31-4 record has sometimes been willed by Xavier Thames. His career night against North Dakota State was a prime example of how great his senior season at San Diego State has been. Thames doesn’t want this show to end, especially in front of what’s anticipated to be a San Diego State crowd.

4. Honda Center aka Viejas North

Honda Center Anaheim 2nd Round
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

4. Honda Center aka Viejas North

Honda Center Anaheim 2nd Round
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

On Selection Sunday the goal for San Diego State was to be in the West region, because their path to North Texas would make a stop in Anaheim, Calif. Honda Center is only 100 miles away from the actual campus of San Diego State, realistically allowing students and alumni to create a home-court advantage. San Diego State has found success playing in Orange County when they beat Creighton and Marquette in November during the Wooden Legacy Classic.

3. San Diego State Isn’t Gonzaga

Gonzaga Bulldogs Sam Dower Round of 32
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3. San Diego State Isn’t Gonzaga

Gonzaga Bulldogs Sam Dower Round of 32
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Gonzaga’s guards failed against the length and defense of Arizona. The Zags’ 21 turnovers were ultimately what did them in. Arizona took advantage of all the turnovers and shot 49.2 percent from the field compared to Gonzaga’s 40.7 percent. The Zags’ aren’t San Diego State and vice-versa. San Diego State has confidence in their defense to stop Arizona, and they play physical unlike Gonzaga.

2. San Diego State Doesn’t Awe at Freshmen Sensations

Andrew Wiggins Freshmen Sensation KU
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

2. San Diego State Doesn’t Awe at Freshmen Sensations

Andrew Wiggins Freshmen Sensation KU
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

During the November meeting, Arizona’s Aaron Gordon had 16 points, shooting 58.3 percent from the field. That night Gordon was a solid second option to Nick Johnson. However, when San Diego State traveled to Lawrence, Kan. the defense showed up and freshman sensation Andrew Wiggins scored 14 points, shooting only 29 percent from the field. San Diego State won’t let Gordon boost his draft stock.

1. Steve Fisher’s Secret Weapon

Steve Fisher NCAA Tournament Press Conference
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

1. Steve Fisher’s Secret Weapon

Steve Fisher NCAA Tournament Press Conference
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

In a press conference earlier this week, Steve Fisher mentioned a secret weapon to unleash upon Arizona. What is it? Is Kawhi Leonard coming back for one more game? Steve Cosby promising the team a walk-on role on the Cosby Show? Only Fisher and his staff know, but it’s obviously something, or someone, that has been flying under the radar for the entire season. When they win, this secret weapon will be part of the myth of Coach Steve Fisher.

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