Mountain West Championship! #3 Utah State vs. #1 SDSU: Preview, How To Watch, Odds, Prediction

Mountain West Championship! #3 Utah State vs. #1 SDSU: Game Preview, How To Watch, Odds, Prediction

The Aggies beat the Broncos 72-62 to land themselves in the 2023 Mountain West Tourney Finals. Can they overpower the Aztecs?

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This game isn’t going to be pretty. In fact it’s going to be downright nasty.

WHO: Utah State Aggies (26-7, 13-5 MW) vs. San Diego State University Aztecs (26-6, 15-3 MW)

WHEN: Saturday, March 11th – 3:00 p.m. PST / 6:00 p.m. EST

WHERE: Thomas & Mack Arena- Las Vegas, NV (Capacity 18,776)


RADIO: San Diego Sports 760 / SiriusXM App ch. 968

SERIES RECORD:  San Diego State and Utah State meet for the 27th time on Saturday evening. The Aztecs hold a 17-9 series advantage.

LAST MEETING:  The Aztecs defeated the Aggies 63-61 in Logan, on Wednesday, February 8th, 2023.

WEBSITES:, the official San Diego State athletics website;, the official Utah State athletics website.



Las Vegas, NV – The Utah State Aggies and San Diego State Aztecs battle for the 2023 Mountain West Conference Championship title Saturday in Las Vegas. The contest at the Thomas & Mack Center tips off at 3:00 p.m. PST.

The top-seeded Aztecs looks to add to a Mountain West record 15 league titles, including a conference-high six tournament championships when they face the third-seeded Aggies in the championship game. Utah State bested Boise State 72-62 late Friday night to earn the championship opportunity.

Who will be your 2023 Mountain West Tournament Champions?

Let’s take a closer look.

Why The Aggies Will Win

The Aggies see their NCAA Tournament possibilities closely tied to a Mountain West Championship win.  They are desperate for this victory.

San Diego State might have blown out San Jose State in the semifinals, and the Aztecs might have 13 wins in 15 games- but the Aggies are playing far better ball than the Spartans, and they aren’t afraid to get a little dirty.

Utah State takes a win-at-all-costs approach, and their fans can be downright raucous at times. The Aztecs will have to tune out these Aggies fanatics.

During their last matchup in Logan on February 8th, viewers watched as the Aztecs were roughed up by players, fans and officials alike. Among the many Technical fouls, Darrion Trammell experienced a bizarre ejection. The Aztecs received another “T” when Adam Seiko got hit in the face.

Aztecs coach Brian Dutcher even received a “T” and didn’t even know it until he read about it the next day. Meanwhile, Aggies coach Ryan Odom was not ejected despite rushing the Aztecs’ bench, before being physically restrained (and shouted down) by referees.

In the championship game, Utah State’s offense will blitz their opponents when the window opens. The Aggies are one of the top three-point-shooting teams in the entire nation; few teams move the ball better, and rapid-fire catch-and-shoot is one of their big weapons. They can be relentless to opponents.

If the Aztecs do not enter this game playing their best, especially behind the arc, the Aggies will make them pay.

Why The Aztecs Will Win

When San Diego State is on a roll, the Aztecs can compete with any team  anywhere in the NCAA.

Their clear advantage is incredible depth.  Even when their best players have a lull, someone else instantly steps up. There are easily 7 players who can take a game over- Matt Bradley, Darrion Trammell, Lamont Butler, Adam Seiko, Keshad Johnson, Jayden LeDee, even Micah Parrish– can all take a game over and become the lead scorer.

The win over Boise State took far more energy from the Aggies than the win against San Jose State took from the Aztecs.  The Aggies game ended very late, so they won’t be as rested as they’d like. The Aztecs will be more rested not having had to exhaust themselves against San Jose State.

The Aggies are unbeaten when making 37% or more from behind the arc, and they are 7-7 when they don’t. The Aztecs will guard the Aggies closely at three-point land, and that will work against the Aggies in the championship.

If the Aztecs maintain their offensive rhythm and do what they do best on defense, it’s going to be very difficult for the Aggies to overpower them.

What Will Happen

This game isn’t going to be pretty.  In fact it’s going to be downright nasty.

Since Thomas & Mack Arena is a neutral site for the Aggies (SDSU calls it “Viejas East”) there will be a large contingent of Aggies fans from Logan, doing their best to get in the heads of the Aztecs. But, thousands of Aztecs fans will be in attendance, too.  Hopefully, both sets of fans remain congenial toward one another.

With this being such a high profile, consequential game, Aggies coach Ryan Odom will use intense psychological power, in contrast to cooler, calmer Aztecs coach Brian Dutcher’s trust-but-verify demeanor. Odom will try to bend the will of the referees just as he did during the last Aztecs-Aggies struggle, but this time these officials won’t be under duress.

The Aggies will play with true desperation, with so much riding on this game, but the Aztecs are all too familiar with pressure and tough competition so they’ll be more concerned about exercising fundamental skills and staying true to their brand of basketball.

The depth, the defense, and their clutch three’s will be enough to overcome a few runs and breakout plays from Utah State.

Just when it looks like the Aggies can prevail, Aztecs defense will stifle their momentum. It will be hard in the end for the Aggies to get good looks, unless they shoot from six feet behind the arc, and the 22-23 Mountain West regular season title holders will walk away triumphant with a second trophy.

Final Score: SDSU 76, Utah State 72

Story originally appeared on Mountain West Wire