NCAA Tournament: San Diego State Gets First March Madness Win, Preps For Temple

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March Madness Scores: San Diego State Gets Temple After Beating Northern Colorado

San Diego State posted the first NCAA Tournament victory in school history, beating Northern Colorado 68-50. This season has marked the best in program history by far, as we're talking about a team that's never even been ranked before this year. Can they put up their first-ever March Madness winning streak with a win against Temple?

Kawhi Leonard had a great game, putting up 21 points and 11 rebounds, but no other Aztecs player was able to shoot 50 percent or better. 

Devon Beitzel led the Bears with 25 points. Poor shooting, outclassed rebounding, and an inability to force turnovers doomed Northern Colorado's March Madness effort.

For more on this game, visit Mountain West Connection or SB Nation Denver.

Here's the updated look at the West region of the 2011 NCAA Tournament bracket.

No. 1 Duke vs. No. 16 Hampton, March 18 at 3:10 pm ET on truTV

No. 8 Michigan vs. No. 9 Tennessee, March 18 at 12:40 on truTV

No. 5 Arizona vs. No. 12 Memphis, March 18 at 2:45 on CBS

No. 4 Texas vs. No. 13 Oakland, March 18 at 12:15 on CBS

No. 2 San Diego State defeats No. 15 Northern Colorado, 68-50

No. 7 Temple defeats No. 10 Penn State, 66-64

No. 3 UConn vs. No. 14 Bucknell, March 17 at 7:20 on TNT

No. 6 Cincinnati vs. No. 11 Missouri, March 17 at 9:50 on TNT

March Madness resources: Printable 2011 NCAA Tournament bracket ... Full 2011 NCAA Tournament schedule.


NCAA Basketball Update: San Diego State Has Hands Full With Northern Colorado

No. 15 Northern Colorado isn't interested in giving No. 2 San Diego State its first-ever March Madness win, whether its the Aztecs dream season or not. The Bears are down only 30-24 at the half, keeping step with SDSU for more of the first half before falling behind by 10 and catching back up.

Though Kawhi Leonard has 10 points, the rest of his team has combined to hit only seven of their 26 attempts from the floor. That's really bad, by the way. NCU isn't shooting much better and has turned the ball over more, but is hanging in there thanks to ... well, this game is kind of a mess.

Devon Beitzel leads the Bears with eight points, while teammate Taylor Montgomery has a game-high seven boards.

For more on this game, visit Mountain West Connection and SB Nation Denver.

March Madness resources: Printable 2011 NCAA Tournament bracket ... Full 2011 NCAA Tournament schedule.


NCAA Bracket Predictions, Preview: No. 2 San Diego State vs. No. 15 Northern Colorado

Any other year, if I told you San Diego State was playing Northern Colorado in the first round of the 2011 NCAA Tournament Bracket, you'd probably assume that was the 8-9 or 7-10 game. Well that's what you get for making assumptions, because this game features No. 2 San Diego State vs. No. 15 Northern Colorado. It's one of the more intriguing games on the 2011 NCAA Tournament schedule involving a high-seed because the Aztecs remain an unknown quantity to so many college basketball fans. Will they be able to handle the heightened competition of the tournament? Has a season dominating the Mountain West served the well? Or will they live "down" to expectations of many and lose to a scrappy Northern Colorado team excited for the opportunity? We'll find out when we tune in to TNT at 4:40 p.m. on Thursday.

Aztec's coach Steve Fisher knows a thing or two about big NCAA Tournament runs. He led Michigan to the National Championship game three times and won it all in 1989. He's in a position to make an even more impressive run with this team, led by one of the best players in the country in Kawhi Leonard. A win here would get one monkey off San Diego State's back...they've never won an NCAA Tournament game before (in six tries).

Three years ago, one year after going 4-24, the Northern Colorado Bears went into San Diego and stunned the Aztecs 62-56. Four seniors on this year's squad were on that team and they'd like to go out with a similar result. Northern Colorado is an outstanding shooting team, both at the charity stripe and from beyond the arc. The Bears shoot just under 39 percent from three-point range as a team and have five players at 38 percent or better.

Star Watch: Kawhi Leonard makes San Diego State go, and his talent has lifted the Aztecs all season and made him a lottery prospect in the 2011 NBA Draft. He's got good size for a small forward (6-foot-7, 225 pounds) but can rebound with the best (10th nationally in Defensive Rebound Percentage) and handle the ball exceptionally well with his large hands. Leonard's greatest credit this year might have been the way he shut down BYU's Jimmer Fredette in the MWC Championship game. If he can do that, who can't he stop?

Prediction: San Diego State gets their first NCAA Tournament victory with a 71-62 win.

More Reading: SB Nation's Mountain West blog, Mountain West Connection, will have all the Aztec info you could want. And you can check out SB Nation Denver for the local scoop on the Bears.

Need help picking your bracket? Check out SB Nation's full 2011 NCAA Tournament bracket predictions, picking every game of March Madness, or our region by region breakdowns for East Region, West Region, Southeast Region, and Southwest Region.

Did your team miss the 2011 NCAA Tournament? We have you covered: check out the 2011 NIT bracket.

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