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San Diego State Quiets The Mountain West Can’t Win In March Narrative ... For Now

The Aztecs closed Charleston’s storybook season in an impressive defensive effort, 63-57.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament First Round-Charleston vs San Diego State Russell Lansford-USA TODAY Sports

Mid-Major Nation sends a HUGE thank you to the San Diego State Aztecs for quieting the “Mountain West can’t win a game in March Madness” narrative.

The Aztecs ended an 11-game losing streak for the league, picking up the program’s first win in the tournament since 2015. Even the conference Twitter managers were good sports about the narrative.

“Everybody makes us aware of it, so yeah,” San Diego State head coach Brian Dutcher said postgame on the league’s losing streak. “Every season is its own season.”

Both teams entered with that mentality, leaving their winning at the door. The defense that had shined so brightly all season, was also on full display for the Aztecs.

San Diego State came into the game as the sixth-best 3-point defense in the country. Charleston, which takes 47% of their shots from deep, had to get over that hump and still relied on their 3-ball. It didn’t go well.

The Aztecs held the Cougars to a 5-of-24 clip from behind the arch, obviously slowing the offensive attack. It resulted in a season-low 57 points for the Cougars.

On the offensive end, Matt Bradley was the difference maker, as per usual. He led the way with 17 points, hitting two big free throws late and the eventual game winner. A foul on a 3-point attempt that he put up with 25 seconds left closed the game.

San Diego State will face another mid-major in the Round of 32 in No. 13 seeded Furman. The Paladins won their game in heroic fashion, getting a steal and hitting a game-winning 3 with two seconds left.

It will be the first time the two schools play in their history.

“We’re dogs like them. We’re not no high-major school, we have a chip on our shoulder,” Furman head coach Matt Bradley said postgame. “We want to get it just as bad as they do,” Matt Bradley said postgame.

Tip time has yet to have been announced, but man will it be nice to see two mid-major programs facing off on the big stage. Cinderella Season is in full go.