ANAHEIM, Calif. — Even though San Diego State certainly doesn't have the edge in history or pedigree at the blue blood-heavy West Regional, the Aztecs do expect an advantage in at least one respect.
They're hoping for huge crowd support.
An upper-corner ticket to Thursday's Sweet 16 matchup between San Diego State and Connecticut is going for at least $300 on StubHub, yet the Aztecs said friends, family and fellow students will shell out big bucks and make the 90-minute trek north for the game. San Diego State had never won an NCAA tournament game prior to beating Northern Colorado and Temple last week, making a Sweet 16 appearance a once-in-a-lifetime ticket for many students and alumni.
"Being on campus Monday, I got stopped 20 or 30 times by a group of people who said they got their tickets and they're all going to be at the game," backup center Brian Carwell said Wednesday. "We definitely feel we're going to have a lot of fan support down here."
A hostile road environment certainly won't intimidate UConn, especially since the Huskies are 4-1 in California under Jim Calhoun and they're riding the confidence surge from winning five games in five days to capture the Big East tournament title. On the other hand, the Aztecs have only lost once at home this season and have experienced unprecedented fan support.
"Playing this close to San Diego we're expecting a very large following, and the fans, they've been here all season long, sold out more games ever in the history of the program," guard D.J. Gay said. "For them to follow us and support us the way they have, we call them our sixth man, and we couldn't ask for a better sixth man from our fans."