San Diego State Finalizes Non-Conference Hoops Schedule
A trip to Hawaii for a loaded Maui Invitational highlights the Aztecs schedule
SDSU will hope to use non-conference play to help improve position for the NCAA Tournament
San Diego State announced their 2018-2019 men’s basketball nonconference schedule today. The schedule is made up of eight home games, two away games, and of course the loaded Maui Invitational. Also the Aztecs will have an exhibition game at home against Division II Chaminade, which means they are able to have one more secret scrimmage. Last year the Aztecs played Southern California in Los Angeles, so a second leg in Viejas is probable.
The schedule is not extremely hard at first glance, however there are some notable matchups outside of Hawaii. San Diego State heads to Illinois State as part of the last year of the Mountain West-Missouri Valley Challenge. The other road game in the non conference schedule is the rubber match against California. This is the final game of a tied three game series and the winner takes all. Last year the Aztecs lost by one at home to the Golden Bears after beating them two years ago at the Golden 1 Center.
San Diego State’s premier home game is the renewal of a rivalry as BYU returns to Viejas on December 22nd. While not the same intensity as days of yore, Aztecs fans have a reason to get crazy as the intensity always goes up a couple notches when the Aztecs and Cougars meet.
The grit of the schedule comes in Hawaii as the Aztecs meet up with Duke in the first round of the Maui Invitational. Duke was in the Elite Eight last year and is perennially a top five team. They are bringing in the top recruiting class in the nation according to 247Sports and will be a title contender this year once again. After the Blue Devils the Aztecs will face either Auburn or Xavier, both of which played in the NCAA tournament last year.
Outside of Maui the schedule is not as formidable, however the Maui Invitational will be a tough test. The Aztecs could do themselves a huge favor by racking up a couple of wins on the island. If they can take care of business back on the mainland then they could find themselves in really good shape heading to conference play.