The San Diego State Aztecs basketball team has been a powerhouse in college basketball since the 1990s. The Aztecs have made nine NCAA tournament appearances, including four Sweet 16 runs and one Elite Eight appearance. They also won five Mountain West Conference titles, most recently in 2020.
The success of the Aztecs program is largely due to the strong leadership of head coach Brian Dutcher, who took over for Steve Fisher in 2017. Under Dutcher’s guidance, San Diego State has continued its winning ways, making three NCAA tournament appearances and two more Mountain West Conference championships. Here are ten secrets about the San Diego State Aztecs that have kept them atop college basketball:
1. The Aztecs are one of the most experienced teams in college basketball
With four seniors on the roster and all five starters having at least three years of collegiate experience, the Aztecs are one of the most experienced teams in college basketball.
2. San Diego State’s defense is among the best in NCAA Division I
The Aztecs rank third in defensive efficiency and sixth in points allowed per game. They also lead the nation in 3-point field goal percentage defense at 28.3%.
3. The Aztecs have consistently been among the top rebounding teams in college basketball over the years
San Diego State has finished each of the last four seasons ranking first or second nationally in rebound margin, a testament to their tenacious approach on the boards.
4. Offensively, San Diego State relies on balance from its starters
Three of their starters averaged double figures in scoring during the 2019-20 season, and all five have a career field goal percentage over 40%.
5. The Aztecs are one of the best FT shooting teams in college basketball
San Diego State led the nation in free throw percentage at 81.4% last season, with four of their starters shooting 80% or better from the charity stripe.
6. San Diego State is one of only three teams since 2017 to win both its conference regular season and tournament titles in back-to-back years
The Aztecs accomplished this feat twice (2018 and 2020), joining Kansas, Gonzaga, and Oregon as the only programs to do so in that timeframe.
7. The Aztecs have been consistent in the NCAA Tournament
San Diego State has won at least one game in each of their past four tournament appearances and have advanced to the Sweet 16 or further in three of those trips.
8. The Aztecs are tough on the road
Since joining the Mountain West Conference in 2011, San Diego State has compiled an impressive 64-21 conference record away from home.
9. San Diego State is one of only eight teams to appear in five or more NCAA tournaments over the past decade
The Aztecs have become a fixture in the NCAA tournament, appearing in five of the last seven tournaments.
10. The Aztecs’ culture has been passed down for generations
Under head coach Brian Dutcher, San Diego State has carried on the legacy of former coaches Steve Fisher and Jim Harbaugh. Through their leadership, the program has built a consistent winning tradition and will look to continue its success for many years to come.
As you can see, San Diego State basketball is one of college basketball’s most successful programs over the last few decades thanks to its strong leadership and culture that extends through generations. With an experienced roster full of shooters, great defense and rebounding ability, and consistency in the NCAA tournament, it’s no wonder why the Aztecs have become such a powerhouse in college basketball. If you’re looking for an exciting program to follow, look no further than San Diego State Basketball.