SDSU basketball teams heading to NCAA tourney

San Diego State University will play the University of Tennessee in Providence, R.I., Thursday in the first round of the NCAA men's basketball tournament, according to brackets released Sunday.

The SDSU women's basketball team also will play in the NCAA Tournament. The ladies' brackets will be announced Monday.

The 11th-seeded Aztecs earned an automatic bid to the field of 65 teams with a 55-45 victory Saturday over the University of Nevada-Las Vegas in the championship game of the Mountain West Conference Tournament.

San Diego State plays number 6 seed Tennessee in Providence R.I. this Thursday, and both teams have a 25-8 record this year. The game time has not been set.

San Diego basketball fans may take delight in knowing that no men's basketball team from Los Angeles or Orange counties will play in the NCAA men's basketball tournament this year.

Perennial powerhouses from Los Angeles will watch the NCAA games on TV. The USC Trojans have taken themselves out of postseason play for self-reported rules violations, and the UCLA Bruins have had an off year, with a 14-18 season.

Up the coast, UC Santa Barbara, 20-9, also earned an automatic bid by taking the Big West conference title. The 15th-seeded Gauchos will play number two seed Ohio State in Milwaukee Friday.

The PAC-10 conference is represented this year only by conference champ Washington, 24-9, and UC Berkeley, 23-10. Last year, four PAC-10 teams made the collegiate championships.

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