Nevada at San Diego State: Game Preview and Prediction
Standing between Nevada and greatness are the Aztecs at Viejas Arena, a truly menacing opponent and venue for the Wolf Pack.
Nevada coach Eric Musselman has never exposed his bare chest to the crowd at Viejas Arena- Aztecs fans like it that way.
WHO: Nevada Wolf Pack (24-1, 11-1 MW) vs. San Diego State Aztecs (16-9, 8-4 MW)
WHEN: Wednesday, Feb. 20 – 8 p.m. PST/11 p.m. EST
WHERE: Viejas Arena- San Diego, CA
TV: CBS Sports Network
STREAM: Get a one-week trial of FuboTV.
ODDS: Nevada -11
Caleb and Cody Martin, a.k.a. The Wonder Twins, have helped Nevada live up to the hype after last season’s March Madness run. The senior-heavy Wolf Pack is flawless except for one game at New Mexico on January 5th.
The Pack travel to San Diego after making mincemeat of a weak Wyoming team. Nevada squashed the Cowboys 82-49. Senior center, Trey Porter scored 14, and seniors Caleb Martin and Jordan Caroline each managed 13.
The Pack have not yet defeated the Aztecs at Viejas Arena under coach Eric Musselman. This is all the more frustrating given Musselman is from San Diego, and he has failed to win at Viejas repeatedly with his mother Kris in attendance, who has been known to hold Aztecs season tickets.
The NCAA Tournament at-large ship might have set sail for the Aztecs, but maybe- just maybe a few big wins could impress the selection committee. SDSU’s lone win against a power conference team was on November 20th against Xavier in the 2018 Maui Jim Maui Invitational Tournament.
Their only game against a ranked opponent, #1 Duke, was ugly as Duke crushed the Aztecs 90-64 in the same tournament.
Now, the Aztecs have won six of their last seven games, most recently with a home win against conference foe Boise State 71-65.
The Aztecs were led in scoring by point guard Devin Watson, while lead scorer, Jalen McDaniels poured in 18 points.
The Aztecs have the benefit of simultaneously playing dual senior point guards in Devin Watson and Jeremy Hemsley.
McDaniels is a silent, productive assassin and a possible first rounder the NBA draft. Also coming alive is freshman sensation Nathan Mensa, and talented freshman emerging shot blocker Aguek Arop.
Who Will Win? The Aztecs have gotten hot. They have also defeated Nevada during each of their last two pairings, once at Viejas Arena, next on neutral ground in the Mountain West Championship Tourney at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas.
In the second win, the Aztecs maintained a near 30-point lead at halftime to the shock of Nevada fans.
During Wednesday’s match an Aztecs win would be a strategic upset. On the other hand, it is vital for Nevada to win if they are to stay inside the top ten and as a highly seeded tournament team- which currently appears promising.
Both teams could win, and both will be playing with intensity and great desperation as conference play moves closer to an end. San Diego State has more to gain from a win, but Nevada has more to lose from a loss.
The Wolf Pack has the edge in this game and is expected to win, but this match may prove to be their toughest yet in conference.
Will we see Musselman without a shirt? The Aztecs will work to prevent it.