Where? San Diego, CA. One of the more self-explanatory school names, isn't it? The residence halls are themed to Central American culture.
When? Saturday the 13th, in Las Vegas, NV.
How? It took overtime, but the Aztecs held Utah without a field goal for the last ten minutes of play and to two free throws in the extra session as they prevailed 70-60.
Upset? Sort of. Third-seeded San Diego State out-ranked fourth-seeded Utah, but that was because the upsets happened earlier in the tournament; the Aztecs ran second-seeded BYU out of the gym in the semifinals, 77-47.
Not to be confused with the University of San Diego or UC-San Diego, San Diego State has been to the Mountain West title game each of the last three years, but this is the first of those times that they've won it. Also not to be confused with South Dakota State, though they share initials. Both schools get a bit cranky about that.
The star to watch for this team is Jené Morris, the Mountain West's two-time Defensive Player of the Year and a first team All-MWC player. She leads her team in scoring with 16.2 per game and finds time to pick up three steals a game as well. Junior forward Jessika Bradley is the team's leading rebounder at 6.6 per game, with senior center Paris Johnson a hair behind at 6.3. Johnson is also the third-leading scorer, putting in 11.5 points per game. Senior guard Quenese Davis averages a hair over five assists per game, and manages to be the second-leading scorer at 12.7 as well.
They've won at home against Wake Forest, Auburn, and Arizona. It's also worth noting that they took it to New Mexico at the Pit, 61-38. Close losses at Notre Dame and South Carolina are acceptable; losing in overtime at home to Pepperdine and losing to Oklahoma by 39 are somewhat less so. A stretch in conference where they lost four of five is also a bad omen, though Beth Burns's squad has won six in a row now.