West - No. 4 San Diego St vs. No. 13 NMSU

Posted Mar 16, 2014

2014 NCAA Tournament Preview, Breakdown & Pick: West Region – No. 4 San Diego State vs. No. 13 New Mexico State

- 60-Second Video Analysis On Each Team

Line: San Diego State -7.5
Why To Pick New Mexico State: This isn't a high-powered San Diego State offense. It doesn't move the ball around well and it doesn't hit from three. New Mexico State has the scoring punch and ability inside to battle on the boards and slug it out in what should be a tough, physical game.
Why To Pick San Diego State: The defense will be a factor from the start on the slashing Aggie guards. Can the Aztecs handle the NMSU bulk up front? Absolutely, as long as everyone is hitting the glass. The SDSU guards don't make a slew of mistakes and they challenge everything. This should be the type of game that fits the team's style.
The Pick: San Diego State 68-63. Don't expect a high-flying, high scoring game. NMSU will want to set things up to get the ball inside, while San Diego State will play a little defense of its own, handling things inside to get by in a grinder.

San Diego State Aztecs
Head coach: Steve Fisher Record: 29-4 Conference: Mountain West

What You Need To Know: The Aztecs showed good resilience after allowing some hiccups during February to roll off their backs. Great at times because of a great team defense, everything started to come together before losing the Mountain West title to New Mexico. Steve Fisher's team is one of the quickest teams in the country, leading to a defense with everyone trusting one another and forcing teams to work for everything on the floor. Offensively, guard Xavier Thames is a game-changer who can take over with his speed and knack for knocking down jumpers with a hand in his face. Also a solid passer, he doesn't try to do too much on the floor. Winston Shepard provides some balance and is more of a slasher, and forward Josh Davis is a strong, focused senior who hits the glass hard and has the skills to be a force offensively when the Aztecs need him to step up his game.
Strengths: Scoring Defense, Turnover Margin, Field Goal Percentage Defense
Weaknesses: Free Throw Shooting, Assists, Three Point Shooting
How Far Will They Go?: The Aztecs will get by the Aggies in the first round, but they'll get stopped by a dangerous North Dakota State. There are too many holes to make a deep run.

Head coach: Marvin Menzies Record: 26-9 Conference: WAC

What You Need To Know: The Aggies won their third straight WAC Tournament to earn their way in. They shoot the ball well, can score in buckets, and they protect the rim on defense. Guard Daniel Mullins is a quality slasher who's always attacking the basket, and he does a lot of work from the free-throw line. He's a streaky outside shooter, but guard D.K. Eldridge can take up the slack when Mullins has an off-night. Eldridge is a decent three-point shooter and stretches the floor. Head coach Marvin Menzies has great size at his disposal -- GREAT SIZE-- with the duo of 6-10 Tshilidzi Nephawe and 7-5 Sim Bhullar. Nephawe is more polished offensively and creates matchup problems while Bhullar is a shot-blocker extraordinaire who also hits the glass hard.
Strengths: Scoring, Blocked Shots, Field Goal Percentage
Weaknesses: Free Throw Shooting, Steals, Turnover Margin
How Far Will They Go?: This could be a tough team if it can get by San Diego State. The Aztecs are an awful matchup for the Aggies.