NCAAM Teams 770d

Will the Aztecs dance or head back to the NIT?

Men's College Basketball, San Diego State Aztecs

No. 15 NC State | No. 17 Gonzaga | Full List


Last season: 28-10, 16-2 Mountain West

The Aztecs won 28 games a season ago, but found themselves in the NIT for the first time in seven years. Steve Fisher's team should get back to the NCAA tournament with a core that includes guards Trey Kell and Jeremy Hemsley, talented wing Malik Pope and enough up front with guys like Zylan Cheatham and transfers Max Hoetzel and Valentine Izundu. -- Jeff Goodman

Best case: NCAA second round. The Aztecs won 28 games last season, but wound up in the NIT due to a lack of quality nonconference wins. San Diego State was, again, a terrific defensive team, but a limited offensive crew. Back are Trey Kell and Jeremy Hemsley, both of whom can score. Washington State transfer Valentine Izundu provides additional size, but the key will be Malik Pope and whether he can blossom into a star player in the Mountain West.

Worst case: NIT. The Aztecs have to perform well in early-season games to let everyone know they're for real. The Mountain West didn't do it for them last season, after they went 16-2 in conference play. That can happen again.

No. 17 Gonzaga | Full List

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