Grand Night For Mitchell, Aztecs Mountain West Title Champs

Matt Mitchell scores 1000th career point, Aztecs offensive eruption leads to fourth outright title

February 12, 2020
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Written by Will Galvez for San Diego's #1 Sports Station, 97.3 The Fan

SDSU AZTECS ARE 2020 MOUNTAIN WEST CHAMPIONS

Around 8:30 PM (PST), Utah State handled their business in Fort Collins, Colorado, downing the CSU Rams, 75-72. 

Meaning?

The Aztecs would have a share of the Mountain West Conference championship if they were unable to handle business last night versus the University of New Mexico Lobos.

Craig Thompson, the Mountain West commissioner was in attendance for the game along with the glimmering first-place trophy. 

At 10:04 PM (PST): consider business handled. Brian Dutcher’s squad used a wolfpack mentality to take what’s theirs and used a second-half offensive explosion to turn the Lobos into pups and clinching the title outright.

SDSU 82  New Mexico 59.

The Aztecs remain unbeaten and continue on the arduous quest for perfection. “I told them in the locker room: ‘Now we have to get greedy. We have to try to win them all,’ ” Dutcher said. “Four really hard games to go, but now that we have the title, we have to have another goal. And that’s a perfect season.”

(25-0) (14-0 MW). In the 21 year existence of the conference, there has never been a team that finished undefeated in Mountain West play. Is this the year? SDSU is favored in every game for the rest of the year. Let’s enjoy this for the short time we can.

Ranked fourth in the nation, first-overall in the NET Metric (ahead of AP number two-ranked Gonzaga) capturing a regular-season conference title… in early February, calls for a celebration. 

Which coincidently is a famous song by Kool & The Gang, that was blaring from the Viejas Arena speakers while red, black and white confetti fell from the rafters during the net cutting of Brian Dutcher, Yanni Wetzel, Matt Mitchell, Dr. Adela de la Torre (SDSU President) and the rest of the men’s team and coaching staff. All of them were surrounded by exhilarated students, fans, and media. 

Tonight was the university’s fourth outright Mountain West title. 

Matt Mitchell had a “Grand” night both literally and figuratively. He led the team with 22 points and 12 boards but there was more significance to this. After getting in early foul trouble, Coach Dutcher gambled and kept the Inland Empire native on the court and witnessed with 17:25 remaining in the second half, Mitchell hit a spot-up, mid-range jump shot that banked off the glass backboard and into the nylon for 1000 career points.

He surpassed former Aztecs legend, Kawhi Leonard, in points scored and became the 34th player in school history reach this milestone.

(Embed 1000th point tweet)

Among those 22 points, was this thunderous dunk that could be heard in Solana Beach and one that Vince Carter would be proud of.

Yanni Wetzel carried the slugging Aztecs offense with 14 first-half points before the team ratcheted up in the second half. His reaction to when he knew this team was special: 

Four games stand in the way of perfect regular-season: Boise State, UNLV, CSU, and Nevada. The Mountain West Tournament is in 21 days. Seletion Sunday is 32 days away. Round 1 of the NCAA Tournament is 36 days away. 

The number of losses for the Aztecs in the win-loss column after tonight: 0.