It's hard to believe that a regular season game between two Mountain West teams has never aired on network TV before, but the up-and-coming conference finally will end that drought next season.
CBS will broadcast Feb. 26's game between San Diego State and BYU, a matchup that will showcase two of the Mountain West's top players in the Aztecs' Kawhi Leonard and the Cougars' Jimmer Fredette. BYU and San Diego State both earned NCAA tournament berths last season and both expect to contend for the Mountain West crown next year.
In case those storylines aren't enough for CBS, the matchup will also mark BYU's first visit to Viejas Arena since San Diego State fans made national headlines for their classless anti-Mormon sentiments. In the final seconds of the Aztecs' 71-69 loss to the Cougars, a group of San Diego State students dressed as missionaries serenaded BYU players with chants of "You're still Mormon."
Although San Diego State returns every player from last year's surprising 25-win team, the Aztecs will be challenged by perhaps the toughest schedule they've had during coach Steve Fisher's tenure.
In non-conference play, the Aztecs will start the season with five straight road games including a trip to Gonzaga and will later face defending Pac-10 champion Cal and WCC tournament champ Saint Mary's. The conference schedule won't start out any easier with a home game against fellow contender UNLV and visits to BYU, Utah and New Mexico among San Diego State's first six games.
Still, if the Aztecs can survive that stretch, then the Feb. 26 matchup with the Cougars could have conference title implications. The game will start at 11 a.m. PST to accommodate CBS, but you can bet that Aztecs fans will be ready.