SDSU men’s basketball does not get selected to 7th straight NCAA tournament

by Ryan Posner, Sports Editor

Going into the 2015-16 season, the San Diego State men’s basketball team had made six straight NCAA tournaments, a school record.

It will not make it to a seventh straight.

After losing to Fresno State Saturday afternoon in the Mountain West Tournament final in Las Vegas, the Aztecs were not given an at-large bid by the NCAA selection committee.

“It was a very, very close vote,” committee chair Joseph Castiglione said of decisions relating to “bubble teams” on CBS Sports’ Selection Sunday TV special.

SDSU was definitely one of those bubble teams.

ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi had the Aztecs as one of his last four teams in following the loss.

SDSU also held the No. 40 spot in the RPI rankings and the No. 43 spot in the KenPom rankings.

The spot that Lunardi had predicted the Aztecs to play in — the play-in game in the East Region against University of Michigan — went to Tulsa University.

Tulsa’s RPI was 58. It was ranked 58th in KenPom.

Head coach Steve Fisher said if his team didn’t win the MW Tournament, he knew it was going to be a close call, but believed his team had a body of work worthy of the NCAA tournament.

Coaches around the MW shared that sentiment. The only team in the conference to make the tournament was the MW Tournament champion, Fresno State, who earned a No. 14 seed in the Midwest Region.

“(The Aztecs) have a veteran-laden team that knows how to win close games,” Nevada head coach Eric Musselman said. “And I don’t even think that they’re just a tournament team, but I also think they can win games in the NCAA tournament.”

Other bubble teams that made it over SDSU include: Wichita State (No. 48 RPI), Michigan (No. 56 RPI), Vanderbilt University (No. 60 RPI) and Syracuse University (No. 72 RPI).

SDSU now awaits the seeding announcement for the National Invitation Tournament, which happens at 5:30 p.m. PT Sunday night on ESPNU.

Because the Aztecs won the MW regular-season title, they are automatically given the bid for the tournament.

Managing Editor Matthew Bain contributed to this report.