San Diego State Was Blown Out By Arizona State Tuesday Night
Check out how San Diego State’s loss could impact its tournament likelihood
SDSU’s tournament chances are on the ropes after a disappointing road trip
With a weak non-conference schedule, San Diego State’s blowout loss to Arizona State Tuesday night could prove fatal later in the year.
The Aztecs came into Tempe having been on an offensive tear in the past few weeks. Although the competition was rather limited in the preseason and in the regular season opener against San Diego Christian, the long-struggling San Diego State offense appeared to have turned the corner.
But not only did the Aztecs attack crumble and derail Tuesday night, the defense was nonexistent in the second half. SDSU took a 40-34 advantage into halftime, but Arizona State snatched the lead back with 16:47 remaining and didn’t waiver the rest of the night. It was 48-47 at that point, and San Diego State was outscored by 21 points the rest of the way.
Regardless, whether the Aztecs had lost by 30 or on a buzzer-beater on Tuesday, San Diego State has come up empty in an important non-conference matchup yet again. And with a severely limited schedule that includes next to nothing in terms of quality win chances, SDSU’s tournament chances have been punched in the mouth.
Here are the top five remaining non-conference win chances for San Diego State:
- Gonzaga (#5 seed in Bracket Matrix, #22 in KenPom)
- *Saint Mary’s (#6 seed in Bracket Matrix, #26 in KenPom) in Wooden Legacy, if possible
- *Georgia (23rd team out in Bracket Matrix, #63 in KenPom) in Wooden Legacy, if possible
- Bradley (#125 in KenPom) in MWC/MVC Challenge
- California (#137 in KenPom)
Although Arizona State is not necessarily a tournament shoe-in this season, a victory on Tuesday would have at least been considered a quality road victory against a power conference opponent. San Diego State will pair up with a maximum of three power conference teams the rest of non-conference play, all of which are tournament long shots. SDSU’s best guaranteed matchup is with Gonzaga in Viejas in late December, which is now a must-win if the Aztecs want any piece of hope come Selection Sunday.
With just two potential games the rest of the way against likely tournament teams (Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s, if possible), head coach Brian Dutcher and San Diego State need to right the ship quickly.