The selection committee didn't do them any favors on the travel. After playing three games in three days in Las Vegas over the weekend, the Aztecs have to fly to Providence, Rhode Island and go again on Thursday.
Head coach Steve Fisher says that won't be a problem because he won't let it be a problem. “You can’t start crying, excuse making, “what if,” said Fisher.”You can’t do that.”
“I’ll play whoever, “ said Kawhi Leonard. “It’s just another team, another game just come out and play your hardest and you’ll get good results.”
Tennessee is in a BCS conference, a power conference. SDSU doesn’t care much about where you play. They think they can run with anybody.
“If you went out and didn’t put a jersey on the front, they would say this is a team out of any league in America. Any of your high profile leagues, this team could compete in it,” said Fisher.
“People will finally start to see us, as not a small team but an actual legit team that can go out there and play with the best of them,” said Brian Carlwell, Aztec center.
This is the sixth time San Diego State is in the Big Dance, the third under Fisher.
Tennessee beat number one seeds Kansas and Kentucky this season, but this is actually a very good matchup for the Aztecs.
“If they can shoot the ball well, they can do a lot of things,” said Nick Canepa, San Diego Union-Tribune columnist.
“When they’re right, they’re really good,” Canepa said.
One thing Canepa pointed out - that the travel time could put the team at a disadvantage.
“The committee didn’t think very highly of them. It’s pretty obvious,” he said. "If they ship a SD team with an 11 seed back to Providence the committee didn’t think very highly of them. And there’s probably a reason for it. They did not have a big road win outside the conference.”
“Right or wrong, that’s what they do,” said Canepa.
The good news for Aztec fans is that you won't have to cash in a sick day to watch the team play. San Diego State and Tennessee play a prime-time game this Thursday. Tip-off will be around 6:45 p.m., San Diego time.
If the team wins, their next game will be Saturday.