San Diego State Aztecs head into Mountain West tournament with options

SAN DIEGO - What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. The tired tourism slogan should be the guiding principle for the Aztecs at this week's Mountain West tournament in Sin City. Ultimately, what happens in Vegas likely won't affect San Diego State's seeding in the NCAA Tournament, so the Aztecs should treat this week accordingly.

Unless you've got some serious East Coast blinders on, the 27-3 Aztecs have done enough to lock up the No. 3 seed in the West region of the NCAA Tournament. Sure, three more wins (and some more losses by other top 10 teams could possibly bump SDSU up to a No. 2 seed. Conversely, there is the danger of falling to a No. 4 seed if the selection committee falls asleep at the wheel. Either way, though, the Aztecs will likely be geographically protected, which means a trip to Spokane, Wash., to open March Madness next Thursday.

Why, then, would the Aztecs risk injury and fatigue by going all out to try and win three games in three days? SDSU proved its mettle by finishing 16-2 and winning the Mountain West regular season title. The tournament may be a chance for New Mexico to get redemption or for UNLV to sneak in the back door of the NCAA Tournament, but there's not much upside for SDSU.

Steve Fisher should play his starters a minimal amount of time, get some good experience from his bench, and get out of Las Vegas as healthy and rested as possible. If that means an upset loss to Utah State or Colorado State on Thursday, so be it. The Aztecs will have a much better chance of success in late March if they forget about being successful in mid-March.

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