San Diego Buzz: San Diego State snubbed?

Published Mar. 18, 2016 12:49 p.m. ET

SAN DIEGO -- The bubble burst on San Diego State's NCAA Tournament chances last Sunday. The Mountain West regular-season champs finished on the outside looking in, as teams such as Syracuse, Michigan and Tulsa snaked final spots and Fresno State represented the Mountain West as the tournament champions.

If the Aztecs were given a seed in the tournament it would have been the seventh year in a row Steve Fisher led the Montezuma Men dancing. Instead, the team will have to salvage what is left of an unusual season in the National Invitational Tournament.

While it is not a glamorous or flashy situation, competing in the NIT gives the Aztecs a chance to prove they should have been inside of the NCAA tournament bubble. Winning the NIT could make up for two early-season losses, including an outdoor loss to USD. As one of the second seeds, the NIT has also provided the Aztecs with at least one, possibly two, more games in front of one of the greatest atmospheres in all of college basketball, Viejas Arena.

The opening round of the NIT was special for the Aztecs. A 79-55 win was newsworthy enough, but then Winston Shepard made Aztec history by recording SDSU's first triple-double. The scoreboard read 10 points, 9 rebounds and 12 assists as Shepard snagged his 10th rebound with only 40 seconds left. The stage might have been smaller than usual, but Shepard accomplished something not even the likes of Kawhi Leonard, D.J. Gay, Jamaal Franklin or Xavier Thames did. And, he was able to do it before the crowd that has cheered for him for four years.



Maybe they're just easing into things. After all it is Spring Training and records don't matter, but while there hasn't been much production out of the Padres lineup on a day-to-day basis, signs of improvement have shown in the field.


Matt Kemp jacked his first home run of the Spring off Jake Peavy Thursday night, an opposite field shot. Andy Green said of the team's offensive performance on Thursday, "I thought overall that was the best we've swung the bats top to bottom." Jon Jay also homered off Peavy.






More non-stadium-deal news from the Chargers! San Diego signed former Packers cornerback Casey Hayward to a 3-year contract. Hayward will most likely be a nickel corner and adds depth to a secondary headlined by Verrett and Flowers. Here is Casey Hayward's interview with XTRA 1360. Welcome to the team, Casey!


Padres general manager A.J. Preller has history with Mike Olt. When Preller was with the Rangers, he drafted the third baseman with the 49th pick in the 2010 draft. Now, the relationship has reunited in San Diego.

Olt will bring power from the right side and will be a solid back up player to projected starting third baseman, Yangervis Solarte.