Mountain West Tournament Quarterfinals: #8 Colorado State vs. #1 SDSU: Game Preview, How To Watch, Odds, Prediction

Mountain West Tournament Quarterfinals: #8 Colorado State vs. #1 SDSU: Game Preview, How To Watch, Odds, Prediction

Colorado State

Mountain West Tournament Quarterfinals: #8 Colorado State vs. #1 SDSU: Game Preview, How To Watch, Odds, Prediction


Mountain West Tournament Quarterfinals: #8 Colorado State vs. #1 SDSU: Game Preview, How To Watch, Odds, Prediction

The Rams bested the Fresno State Bulldogs yesterday to make it to the quarterfinals.  Can they compete with the elite Aztecs?

Contact/Follow @tedmcgovern & @MWCwire

Well-rested #1-seed Aztecs square off against #8-seed Rams, following a hard-fought victory against the Fresno State Bulldogs.

WHO: Colorado State Rams  (12-15, 4-10 MW) vs. San Diego State University Aztecs (24-6, 15-3 MW)

WHEN: Thursday, March 9th – 12:00 p.m. PST / 3:00 p.m. EST

WHERE: Thomas & Mack Arena- Las Vegas, NV (Capacity 18,776)


RADIO: San Diego Sports 760 / SiriusXM App ch. 968

SERIES RECORD:  San Diego State and Colorado State meet for the 94th time Thursday at noon. The Aztecs hold a 50-43 series advantage.

LAST MEETING:  The Aztecs defeated the Rams 77-58 at Viejas Arena, on Tuesday, February 21st, 2023.

WEBSITES:, the official San Diego State athletics website;, the official Colorado State athletics website.



Las Vegas, NV – The 2023 Mountain West Tournament is sure to be full of surprises and upsets.

Single elimination essentially wipes the slate clean for underperformers, making anything possible- including an at-large bid for the likes of San Jose State. Everybody gets the same chance to compete on the court for a championship, and anybody can win.

The Colorado State Rams are fresh off of a hard-fought win against the Fresno State Bulldogs (11-20, 6-12 MW) whose season was laid to rest yesterday in Las Vegas.  Will fatigue from yesterday’s game affect play today, as the Aztecs step into the court fully rested as the top-seeded team?

Let’s take a closer look.

Why The Rams Will Win

If you believe in Colorado State, it’s most likely because of the talent that they have at guard. Isaiah Stevens is considered by some to be the best  point guard in the Mountain West.  In addition to that, John Tonje is playing at his apex level.

Both are capable of taking over a game and dominating scoring if needed. We’ve seen Stevens and Tonje each drop 30 on opponents with ease.

The two can create a quality look for themselves anywhere on the court. When it’s win or go home, there are times where you need to be able to trust someone to put the ball on the floor and just go make something happen.

With Stevens and Tonje playing their best ball, the Rams could conceivably upset the Aztecs

Why The Aztecs Will Win

San Diego State is favored to win the whole thing, unanimously. The depth and experience the Aztecs bring to the table is remarkable.  The Aztecs are also so comfortable at the Thomas & Mack Center that many call the venue “Viejas North,” referencing it as being SDSU’s second home court.

On a team that went 24-6 overall and 15-3 against league competition, Brian Dutcher did not have a single player average more than 30 minutes per contest. It was not for a lack of trustworthy options either.  When one experienced and skilled individual goes to the bench, another one that’s just as good from the rotation goes in to replace him- like a machine.

Being able to bring a big like Jaedon LeDee off the bench, a starter for every other team in the conference, is a perfect example of the fathomless depth of talent the Aztecs have.

As deep as SDSU is though, and they really are extremely deep, in a year where we’ve already seen some weirdness due to how good the league is from top to bottom, an upset is possible.

New Mexico, Utah State, Boise State and Nevada can easily stun fans and unsurprisingly go all the way.

San Jose State, Colorado State and Wyoming aren’t incapable of waging an upset either.

Nonetheless, through all of this immense talent, in what is arguably the most underrated men’s basketball conference, the Aztecs managed to win the regular season title by two games.  They’re going to be very hard to defeat.

What Will Happen

The Rams will play with total abandon, pouring it out on the court, while the Aztecs will try to conserve a little something for presumably the Semi’s and perhaps the Finals.

The depth of the Aztecs will provide an endless amount of energy, in contrast to Colorado State’s top five who will play the majority if not the entire match.

The Aztecs will win decisively, beating the Rams, and move on to the Semifinals tomorrow.

Final Score: SDSU 74, Colorado State 60


More MWWire