PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 22: Jamaal Franklin #21 of the San Diego State Aztecs dunks in the second half against the Oklahoma Sooners during the second round of the 2013 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Wells Fargo Center on March 22, 2013 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
As the current popular saying goes, it's a good time to be an Aztec.
San Diego State beat Oklahoma 70-55 in the NCAA Tournament round of 64. The Aztecs got 21 points from Jamaal Franklin and 17 off the bench from James Rahon. It was a dominating performance. Just look at the box score.
The Aztecs led the Sooners in almost every statistical category. They shot better from the field, the 3-point line and he free throw line (SDSU only missed one of its 17 foul shots). The Aztecs also had more rebounds, assists and blocks, plus committed fewer fouls.
To be honest, it was somewhat unexpected from a team that lost 5 of 9 games before Friday night.
"Well, it is definitely a bigger stage," said Rahon, who played the best game of his senior season. "I think we all raised our level of play a little bit."
Especially in the second half. The Aztecs' bug-a-boo has been letting games slip away after halftime. This time they outscored the Sooners 39-22 after the break.
"Today our second-half defense was superior to our first-half," said head coach Steve Fisher, "and that's why we won."
This is just the second time San Diego State has advanced in the NCAA Tournament. The other was two years ago, when they lost to eventual National Champion Connecticut.
"We've got veteran players here that are part of the only NCAA Tournament wins we've ever had," said coach Fisher. "So we are hungry to add to it and proud of the fact that we got one tonight."
To reach the Sweet 16 for the second time in three years, the Aztecs will have to go through Florida Gulf Coast. The Eagles, in just their second year as a Division-1 program, shocked 2nd-seeded Georgetown 78-68. FGCU is the seventh 15-seed to beat a 2.
All six of the others failed to win their next game.
Sunday night at 4:10 San Diego time (the game is on TBS again) we'll see if number 7 is lucky, or the Aztecs get a trip to Texas next week.