San Diego already loves its Aztecs

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The word is out on San Diego State. The Aztecs are climbing up everyone’s polls and power rankings thanks to their impressive road wins and perfect 9-0 record.

(This is the part where I mention I was on that bandwagon before the season. Just sayin’.)

The best part? San Diego’s noticing.

Sometimes a thriving college hoops teams struggles to catch on locally, especially when said school doesn’t reside in a college town. Once March nears, people pay attention. Not before. But San Diego is already backing their Aztecs.

This column from the San Diego Union-Tribune’s Tim Sullivan is essentially a love letter to the team and the city, declaring the Aztecs the best thing the city has going right now. (Small wonder given that the Chargers can’t play defense.)

Most telling are the attendance numbers. From his column:

These are huge breakthroughs for a basketball program that was awash in apathy upon [coach Steve] Fisher’s arrival in 1999. That year, the Aztecs’ 15 home games attracted announced crowds totaling 39,266.

This season, in three home games, the Aztecs have averaged 10,167.

SDSU’s noticed, too. The season’s just started, but it sounds as if Fisher’s relishing this season more than any time since a six-game run in 1989.

“It’s fun,” he told Sullivan. “Fun for the kids, and us (coaches), too. Fun for me. I’d much rather be in this position than fighting for survival, fighting to tread water.

“You have to close your eyes and say, ‘Why can’t we win?’ ”

The only thing that would elevate SDSU? If Ron Burgundy was its play-by-play announcer.

Want more? I’m also on Twitter @BeyndArcMMiller.