Monday, May 12, 2014

Aztecs to face Michigan in Tempe Regional

San Diego State's seventh consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance begins in Tempe, Arizona, on Friday.

The Aztecs claimed the No. 3 seed in the Tempe Regional and will open Friday at 12:30 pm Pacific time against Michigan (42-12) of the Big Ten.  The Wolverines earned an at-large bid after tying for the Big Ten title but falling in the conference tournament.

The Mountain West's only at-large hope -- Fresno State (31-21) -- was bypassed for a bid and will miss the tourney for a third straight year after making 30 in a row from 1982 to 2011.  According to the RPI, the Bulldogs were the sixth-best team in the country left out of the field.

San Diego State's other two opponents in the Tempe regional are host and No. 9 national seed Arizona State (44-10-1) and Ivy League champion and first time NCAA entrant Dartmouth (31-17).

The Aztecs have a good chance to defeat the Wolverines.  The Mountain West won six games versus the Big Ten this season, including a win by Fresno State over Nebraska, which shared the Big Ten championship with Michigan and earned an at-large bid.

San Diego State will be in for a hot weekend.  Temperatures in Tempe are forecast to reach 101 on Friday.  If the Aztecs win their first game, they'll play the Arizona State-Dartmouth winner at 3 pm on Saturday, when the temperature is supposed to hit 104 degrees.

According to the RPI, Fresno State was one of the six best teams in the country left out of the NCAA field.  The others:  Stanford, McNeese State, College of Charleston, Mercer and Florida International.  Stanford was left out of the NCAA tourney for the first time in 17 years.  Fellow bay area Pac-12 member Cal saw its NCAA tourney streak end after 28 straight appearances.

View the complete NCAA Tournament bracket here.