San Diego State Men’s Basketball holds one of the most mind-boggling statistics in college basketball. The Aztecs have won 161 games when leading with five minutes to go in the game. Here is a little bit of history on what is now known across college basketball as “The Streak.” During the course of “The Streak” San Diego State has had six straight NCAA Tournament appearances and two Sweet 16 appearances. The Aztecs also fielded what many Aztec fans believe was the best team in school history during the 2nd season of the streak in 2010/2011 going 34-3. Check out this video The Sweet Season to relive the 34-3 season.
The Aztecs have played 220 games since “The Streak” began on January 16th, 2010, when the Aztecs defeated Texas Christian University (TCU) at home 67 to 62. The MVP of that game was Aztec Legend Billy White who had 16 points and 6 rebounds in 32 minutes played. Aztec Legend Malcolm Thomas also played well that night totaling 11 points and 9 rebounds in 37 minutes. 2010 was also the freshman season for one future NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard. Over the course of “The Streak” San Diego State has played 220 games having won 172 (78%) of the games. The Aztecs have won 11 games when losing at the five-minute mark during the streak.
The last time the Aztecs lost when leading at the five-minute mark was on January 9th, 2010, at Wyoming by a score of 85 to 83. The Aztecs blew a 14-point lead to lose that game. Kawhi Leonard was the MVP in loss for the Aztecs with a career-high 25 points, 12 rebounds and 2 assists. The loss at Wyoming snapped the Aztecs streak of 65 straight wins when leading with five minutes to go in the game.
This is the roster that lost the 65 game winning streak when leading with five minutes but started the new streak that is now at 161 games Brian Carlwell, Mehdi Cheriet, Kelvin Davis, Jason Deutchman, D.J. Gay, Ben Kneller, Kawhi Leonard, James Rahon, Tyrone Shelley, Tim Shelton, Chase Tapley, Malcolm Thomas, Billy White and Alec Williams.
The 2nd most noteable streak in San Diego State basketball ended last season with a loss at Fresno State 59 to 57. Before to the loss at Fresno State the Aztecs had won 47 straight games against schools from the great state of California. The last time that the Aztecs had lost a game to a California school was on November 25th, 2009, at Pacific University. What matters is how you pick yourself up after a streak comes crashing to the ground. Since losing at Fresno State last season SDSU is 7-1 against teams from California. The Aztecs are now 54-2 against teams from California dating back to the 2009 season.
SDSU has now won 21 straight regular-season conference games in football and men’s basketball, the longest active streak in the nation and one short of the longest over the past two decades. Utah State won 22 straight in 1999-2000 while in the WAC. Iowa recently had a 21-game football/men’s basketball streak ended with a basketball loss at Maryland. – Mark Zeigler San Diego Union Tribune (Link)
Getting back to “The Streak” Fresno State almost became two for three on destroying Aztec streaks. The Bulldogs of Fresno State took the Aztecs to overtime this past January 19th, 2016, which put “The Streak” in danger of ending. The Aztecs were able to pull that game out in the end 73 to 67. Lately the goal of every Mountain West Conference team has been to end “The Streak.” On February 2nd, 2016, Colorado State had a chance at ending “The Streak.” The bench could be seen saying we are going to end that damn streak. The Rams had the ball with two seconds remaining in the game and missed the basket to send the game to overtime. This past weekend the Aztecs were six seconds away from losing the streak against the University of New Mexico Lobos. Thankfully Malik Pope hit a 3-point shot with six seconds left in the game to send the game to overtime. The Aztecs would defeat the Lobos by a score of 78 to 71 to push the streak to 161 straight wins when leading with five minutes remaining in the game.
I do not know what is more impressive the fact that San Diego State has won 161 straight games when leading with five minutes remaining in the game or the fact that over the last 227 games when leading with five minutes remaining the Aztecs have a record of 226-1. The SDSU men are not the only basketball program on campus that have a streak. The women’s basketball team have also won 50 straight when leading at the five-minute mark.
We have been having a debate in our Facebook group Official SDSU Basketball (Student Run) Fan Page who have been the best Aztec players dating back to the beginning of the streak. Many of these athletes are credited with turning the San Diego State Basketball program into what it is now. We have listed all the fan favorites. Each athlete on this list was voted on at least five time in the group thread. Many other players deserve to be on this list. If you have a favorite player who missed the list please mention them in the comments. It is now time to pick your favorite Aztec since the 2009/10 season.
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