March 14, 2013
LAS VEGAS -
In a rematch of the teams that played for the 2012 tournament title, fourth-seeded San Diego State (22-9 overall) and top-seeded No. 15/14 New Mexico will meet in Friday's first semifinal game of the 2013 Reese's MW Championship.
The game features the two programs that own the most men's basketball titles. San Diego State has a conference-best seven league titles, while New Mexico has six crowns. Counting MW tournament championships only, the Aztecs own a league-high four titles (2002, 2006, 2011 and 2012) and New Mexico has two championships (2005 and 2012). One of the teams have won each of the last three tournament titles.
San Diego State advanced to the semifinal for an MW-best sixth straight season with a 73-67 victory over Boise State late Wednesday night. The Aztecs trailed for only 19 seconds in the game en route to claiming their 22nd win of the season. Junior All-America candidate Jamaal Franklin had 19 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two steals, junior Xavier Thames added 18 points, six rebounds and five assists, and senior Chase Tapley posted 17 points, six rebounds, four steals and three assists. The Aztecs limited the Broncos to 34.9 percent shooting, marking the 21st time this season that SDSU has held an opponent to 40 percent or less from the floor.
San Diego State, which has advanced to the Mountain West final a record four straight seasons, will face a New Mexico squad it split the season series with. On Jan. 26, SDSU claimed a 55-34 decision in San Diego, while New Mexico posted a 70-60 decision on Feb. 27 in Albuquerque. This marks the fourth time the teams have met in the MW tourney, with New Mexico owning a 2-1 advantage. In 2005, the Lobos won 77-67 in a semifinal game, while in 2010, the Aztecs were victorious in the semis with a 72-69 decision. Last season, in the championship game, New Mexico won 68-59.
San Diego State has advanced to a conference-best four straight tourney finals. Among major conferences (ACC, Big East, Big 10, Big 12, PAC-12, SEC and Mountain West), only San Diego State and Ohio State have advanced to their tournament finals each of the last four seasons.