Fresno State vs. San Diego State: Game Preview, How To Watch, Prediction
Fresno travels to Viejas looking to finish with a top 5 seed in the conference.
WHO: Fresno St. Bulldogs (18-10) Vs San Diego St. Aztecs (19-7)
When: Thursday, MArch 3rd, 11:00PM ET/ 8:00 PM PT
Where: San Diego, Ca
TV: CBS Sports Network
STREAM: FuboTV — Get a free trial
The Aztecs and Bulldogs meet for the second time this season with different goals in mind. The Aztecs, fresh off a victory against Wyoming, need to keep winning to cement their at-large resume. They should be in at this point, but a loss or two may drop them out.
Fresno St. does not have a chance at an at-large bid, meaning their only hope to go dancing is by winning the conference tournament. They are currently in 6th place in the conference standings. No team outside of the top five has ever won the tournament under the current format. The prospect of winning four games in four days is too much when the top five only need to win three games in three days. Beating SDSU would really help their chances of finishing in the top five.
They also want to redeem themselves after losing to SDSU at home by 15 points. The Bulldogs only scored 44 points in that game, and nba prospect Orlando Robinson was held to 9 points and 4 turnovers. He will need to have a better game if the Bulldogs hope to win. Isaiah Hill had 15, but some of those were garbage time 3-pointers.
The Bulldogs are on a two game win streak after beating Air Force and New Mexico. Robinson scored 28 against the Lobos and hit a couple shots from deep.
The Aztecs are in typical late year form. They went 7-2 in the month of February, and the two losses were both on the road by a combined two points. In thier last game they beat Wyoming in Laramie. They are the only team to beat Wyoming in Laramie this season. Matt Bradley had 30 points and 4 assists, and Trey Pulliam is looking like the player he was in the conference tournament last year (the one who should’ve won tournament MVP.)
Nathan Mensah is also showing why he should be the Defensive Player of the Year. He held Graham Ike to ten points on 33% shooting from the floor.
The Aztecs are 7 point favorites in this game according to KenPom.
Keys for SDSU- The Aztecs will need to continue to play their physical brand of defense. They had a lot of success double teaming Robinson in the post, and should continue to do that until he shows he can beat it.
They also need to continue playing in the rhythm of their offense. Matt Bradley has been playing far less isolation basketball, instead getting everyone involved with his passing. His teammates have responded. As he continues to do that the offense will continue to improve.
Keys for Fresno State – Everything starts with Robinson. He needs to protect the rim and help force tough midrange shots. Offensively he needs to read the double team and kick out to open shooters. If he is not doubled teamed he needs to find a way to score.
His teammates need to pick up some slack too. They need to hit the outside shots to spread out the Aztecs defense in order to give Robinson the room he needs to operate inside.
Predictions – The Bulldogs will come out swinging and build an early lead. After the first ten minutes the Aztecs will settle into the game and retake the lead. They won by fifteen on the road, so winning at home should not be too much of a problem.
Prediction – 66-56 Aztecs