SDSU Basketball: Sweet 16 SDSU vs. Zona (Game Preview)

Mandatory Photo Credit: Tony Amat

(Official watch parties are located at the bottom of the article)

San Diego State will be playing the Arizona Wildcats this Thursday in the Sweet 16. The game will be played in Anaheim and tip-off at 7:17 p.m. PST on TBS. CBS Sports recruiting blogger Jeff Borzello has come out with his top 68 teams competing in the NCAA Tournament San Diego State came in 23rd place and Arizona came in 2nd place. The starting five for the Aztecs will be JJ O’Brien, Josh Davis, Skylar Spencer, Winston Shepard and Xavier Thames.

Mandatory Photo Credit: Tony Amat

Mandatory Photo Credit: Tony Amat

The Aztecs are still trying to improve with shooting from the floor and behind the arc.The Aztecs are shooting 43.6% from the floor and 36.0% from behind the arc. The Aztecs need major improvement in the free throw game but have improved their free throw shooting average to 66%. The Aztecs have also been working harder this season on offensive and defensive rebounds. The Aztecs have out rebounded teams this year 1327 to 1151. San Diego State is ranked 13th in the Associated Press (AP) Top 25 Poll and is ranked 11th in the  USA Today Coaches Top 25 Poll. The San Diego State Aztecs have one of the best field goal defense in the nation! San Diego State’s opponent’s has been averaging a field goal percentage of just 38.3% and 28.5% from beyond the arc. The Aztecs have been bringing massive press on opponent’s this season thanks to a very deep bench. This has allowed the Aztecs to use the full court press for a majority of every game.

Expert Picks:

SDSU is a (SIX) 6 point underdog against Arizona – via Vegas Odd Makers. 

These Predictions are based off of the brackets of the CBS Writers.

  • Jon Rothstein (Arizona)
  • Jeff Borzello (Arizona)
  • Jerry Palm (Arizona)
  • Doug Gottlieb (Arizona)
  • Steve Lappas (Arizona)
  • Dennis Dodd (Arizona)
  • Gary Parrish (Arizona)
  • Wally Szczerbiak (Arizona)
  • Gregg Doyel (Arizona)
  • Pete Gillen (SDSU)
  • Mateen Cleaves (SDSU)


Keys for Victory:

San Diego State University:

1) Shoot more than 45% from the floor!

2) Point’s in the paint!

3) Only shoot 3-point shot’s that are open!

4) Limit turnovers!

5) Attack the boards (A MUST)!

University of Arizona:

1) Force SDSU to shoot from the perimeter.

2) Force SDSU to commit turnovers.

3) Win the defensive battle of the boards.

4) Second chance points

5) Try and get SDSU to foul out.


Players to watch for San Diego State:

Xavier Thames (6-3 and 195 pound Senior): Thames is currently leading the Aztecs in points per game averaging 17.4 points and leading the Aztecs in assists per game with 3.2.

Winston Shepard (6-8 and 205 pound Sophomore): Shepard is currently in second place on the Aztecs in points per game averaging 11.7 points, has 4.9 rebounds per game and is in second place on the Aztecs in assists with 2.1 per game.

Josh Davis (6-8 and 215 pound Senior): Davis is currently in fourth place on the Aztecs in points per game averaging 7.7 points and lead’s the team in rebounds with 9.9 per game.

San Diego State Losses:

NCAA Tournament Bound Teams

Arizona: (1st seed in the West)

New Mexico:  X2 (7th seed in the South)


Wyoming: (CBI)


Players to watch for Arizona:

Nick Johnson (6-3 and 200 pound Junior): Johnson is currently leading the Wildcats in points per game averaging 16.3 points and is second on the Wildcats in assists with 2.8 per game.

Aaron Gordon (6-9 and 229 pound Freshman): Gordon is currently in second place in points per game averaging 12.4 and leads the Wildcats in rebounds with 7.8  per game.

Kaleb Tarczewski (7-0 and 275 pound Sophomore): Tarczewaki is currently in third place in points per game averaging 10 points and is currently in second place in rebounds with 6.5 per game.

Arizona Losses:

NCAA Tournament Bound Teams

Arizona State: (10th seed in the Midwest)

Oregon: (7th seed in the West)

UCLA: (4th seed in the South)


California: (NIT)



We will be waiting at Viejas Arena North Wildcats!

San Diego State and Arizona 

Name Height Team Name Height Team
Winston Shepard 6-8 SDSU Brandon Ashley 6-8 UofA
Matt Shrigley 6-5 SDSU Eric Conklin 6-6 UofA
Skylar Spencer 6-9 SDSU Aaron Gordon 6-9 UofA
JJ O’Brien 6-7 SDSU Jacob Hazzard 6-0 UofA
Dwayne Polee II 6-7 SDSU Rondae Hollis-Jefferson 6-7 UofA
Dakarai Allen 6-5 SDSU Chris Johnson 6-6 UofA
Angelo Chol 6-9 SDSU Nick Johnson 6-3 UofA
Josh Davis 6-8 SDSU Matt Korcheck 6-10 UofA
Aqeel Quinn 6-3 SDSU Trey Mason 6-2 UofA
Xavier Thames 6-3 SDSU Jordin Mayes 6-3 UofA
Parker U’u 6-4 SDSU T.J. McConnell 6-1 UofA
James Johnson 6-10 SDSU Drew Mellon 6-6 UofA
D’Erryl Williams 6-2 SDSU Zach Peters 6-10 UofA
Niksha Federico 6-6 SDSU Elliot Pitts 6-5 UofA
Ryan Staten 6-1 SDSU Kaleb Tarczewski 7-0 UofA 
Kibret Woldemichael 5-7 SDSU Gabe York 6-3 UofA 
Desmond Maxwell 6-0 SDSU
Aztec Basketball Watch Party Venues
NCAA Sweet 16 – SDSU vs. Arizona

Effin’s Pub n Grill
6164 El Cajon Boulevard
San Diego, CA 92115-3914
(619) 229-9800

McGregor’s Grill and Ale House
10475 San Diego Mission Rd
San Diego, CA 92108
(619) 282-9797

Hooleys Irish Pub & Grill
5500 Grossmont Center Drive
La Mesa, CA 91942

2955 Jamacha Rd, Ste. 21
Rancho San Diego, CA 92019

Morgan Run Club & Resort
5690 Cancha de Golf
Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92091
(858) 759-5434

O’Harleys Brewhouse & Pizzeria
12165 Alta Carmel Ct. Ste 110
San Diego, CA 92128
(858) 487-4992

Hooters of Mission Valley
1400 Camino De La Reina
San Diego, CA 92108

Randy Jones All American Grill
7510 Hazard Center Drive Suite #215
San Diego, CA 92108
(619) 296-9600

Hooters of Rancho Bernardo
16911 West Bernardo Drive
San Diego, CA 92127
(858) 451-6000

Woodstock’s Pizza
6145 El Cajon Boulevard
Corner of College & El Cajon Boulevard,
Just south of SDSU

1221 Garnet Avenue, Pacific Beach

KnB Wine Cellars
6380 Del Cerro Boulevard
San Diego, CA 92120
(619) 286-0321

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About DavidSDSU (1275 Articles)
I graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in Journalism with an emphasis in Media Studies. I am also the Founder and CEO of San Diego Sports Domination. I am an award winning blogger and have been covering San Diego State Athletics and San Diego Sports for the past 10 years. I have written many guest articles and have appeared in many podcasts. I am also the team photographer for the San Diego Silverbacks, San Diego Surf (WPSL) and San Diego Strike Force. At my day job, I am a Live Coverage and Studio Coordinator at STN Digital a Digital Marketing Agency that works in the Sports & Entertainment Industry. We work with the biggest sports & entertainment companies in the world.

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