“March Madness-Maddening Loss”
Lousy loss, lousy game, the SDSU version of ‘1-and-Done’.
It was over in a flash, this NCAA tournament game.
San Diego State taken out by the University of Houston in their game in the NCAA regionals in Wichita..
Done in by what we expected. Houston’s physical guards, beat the daylights out of the State when they had the ball. There was no rhythm to the Aztecs offense, very little point production, and too much reliance on limited big men.
What worked before, the end of season, and MWC tourney wins, did not work this time.
The Cougars won (67-65) in what was described as a ‘rock fight’. Really ugly, a bit bloody, more of a game of grind, that a game of must-see basketball.
UH’s outstanding guard Robert Gray, who reminded me of Jason Kidd, put on a 39-point scoring show in the win. Long jumpers, short open shots, driving layups to the hoop. And at the other end, he leaned all over the Aztecs guards, picking up fouls, but picking them off when State tried to get into their offense.
SDSU trailed by as many as 13. They valiantly tried to fight back, taking the ball inside, hardly ever scoring, but getting UH in foul trouble.
But SDSU failed badly at the free throw line, had very little outside shooting, and were running uphill all night. They got mugged in the alley, and just could not hold up to the physicality of the UH roster. Their will got them back into the game, but when it counted, talent, Houston’s talent, got them the win.
The numbers do not lie. So no post game bonus points for the ‘good old college try’.
At one point, SDSU missed 10-three point shots in a row. They missed 14-free throws in the game. In one long stretch they had 3-baskets in a 16-possession sequence.
The three Aztecs guards, Devon Watson-Trey Kell and Jeremy Hensley went a combined (9-for-29) shooting The team hit just 4-3 point baskets, and when it was most important, they were (2-14) on treys for much of the game.
So they come home, season completed. Yes a tourney game, but it was a tourney loss.
They say goodbye to Kell and Malik Pope, but do return 9-players next season, and will add recruits and a transfer to the equation.
Good season, not a great season, and a season ending disappointment. Next year should be better with the experience some of the young players got. But a sad ending for a good kid like Kell.
But this is not what we have come to expect when we think SDSU hoops. We used to talk about Sweet 16-games. Today we have to talk about season ending games.
Like I said, an SDSU version of ‘1-and-done’. Disappointing.