You have to hand it to San Diego. As soon as SDSU became a nationally-ranked squad way back in October, fans took notice. As the wins continued to pile up, so did the crowds at Viejas Arena. The Aztecs have had good teams in the last few years, but fan interest has been lukewarm at best. This year's #6 ranked team has caused a buzz that isn't often seen in this town.
As a life-long San Diego resident, this is one of the worst sports towns in all of America. The fans of this beautiful city remind me of teenagers looking to grab a hold of the next trend. Fans in this town are looking for the next Myspace, or Nintendo Wii, which now has become SDSU hoops.
As a long-standing supporter of SDSU basketball, it is somewhat annoying to see all these idiots come out of the woodwork, and wait hours for tickets to the BYU game. I can remember attending SDSU games that had 4,000 people for a very good New Mexico squad. The tickets were more than affordable, people simply just didn't care.
On the other hand, hopefully this kind of interest in this season's squad carries over into next season. The Aztecs stand to lose 3 starters, including likely lottery pick Kawhi Leonard, so the team next year will look very different. A deep NCAA tournament run will help tremendously with recruiting, and will sell season tickets for next year.
With all the hype this game is receiving both locally and nationally, naturally it will only lead to a letdown. The game will be televised nationally on CBS, and it has actually been mentioned on ESPN. The winner of the game might have an inside track for a #2 seed in the Big Dance.
As an Aztec fan, I am stoked for this game, but I can't get that lingering paranoia out of my head. One of my favorite quotes says "history repeats itself." Well, San Diego has experienced a lot of heartbreak over the years. Every time an San Diego team has looked destined for greatness, they have always fallen flat.
While I believe the Aztecs can pull this out, they face a mighty task in defending National Player of the Year candidate Jimmer Fredette. The Aztecs must find away to limit open looks, although they don't really have a player that can match up with him.
Here is hoping the Aztecs can overcome the mighty San Diego Curse!