San Diego State, Cal to kick off Las Vegas Invitational

This year’s Las Vegas Invitational college basketball tournament will have a great matchup in the first round, as the San Diego State Aztecs are set to take on the California Golden Bears. Rob Dauster of NBC Sports’ College Basketball Talk reported the matchup.

Not only can fans view this as a battle for state pride, a battle of North vs. South (Cal is located in the Bay Area), etc., but also one that pits two young and feisty teams against each other as the season kicks off.

San Diego State has gone 339-185 (143-103 MWC) in sixteen seasons under longtime coach Steve Fisher, winning four conference tournaments along the way and recently becoming an NCAA Tournament staple. In the five past years, the Aztecs have made the Sweet Sixteen twice and have key players in Malik Pope and Winston Shepard returning next season.

Cal, on the other hand, is a serious contender heading into the 2015-16 season. On top of returning players Jabari Bird, Tyrone Wallace and Jordan Mathews, the team has two top recruits in Ivan Rabb and Jaylen Brown joining the roster. The Golden Bears were only 18-15 (7-11 Pac-12) and did not participate in any postseason play in their first year under head coach Cuonzo Martin, but there is no doubt that this team is headed in the right direction and will be one to watch in the upcoming season.

If they can give San Diego State a game in this tournament, that speculation will turn into fact.

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*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports

Marquette’s non-conference schedule is pretty weak
Marquette’s non-conference schedule is pretty weak