The 1976 Indiana Hoosiers would be toasting champagne tonight if they were as conceited as the 1972 Miami Dolphins. That’s because San Diego State fell at home to UNLV. 66-63.
It was just kind of an all-around loss for the Aztecs, to a fairly mediocre UNLV squad that currently sits outside the top-100 of the KenPom rankings. San Diego State came out flat, though, falling behind 37-25 at the half, and the deficit expanded to 14 early in the second half. The Aztecs didn’t go away, though, mounting a late comeback and cutting the lead to 1 with 15 seconds remaining on a deep Malachi Flynn three.
After Flynn missed a three, UNLV inbounded long, though SDSU forward Matt Mitchell came up with a steal and had a chance to tie the game from halfcourt.
And with that, the Aztecs lost their chance at an undefeated regular season, much less their chance to make a season-long run. It’s possible to look at this result as a positive; it might ultimately cost them a shot at a #1 seed, depending on their results and the results of others throughout the season.
But that might actually mean they have a better shot to stay in the Western region (Gonzaga is likely a higher #1 seed, and they’d get the Los Angeles regional preference) as a #2 seed, and it also removes the “Can they do it?” narrative that might add more pressure than is helpful on bigger stages. In any case, making it nearly to March without a loss is an incredible feat no matter the schedule to this point. There’s a reason no one else had done that this season. What a run.