Aztecs to Philly, Battle of Old Friends

San Diego State prepares traveling to Philadelphia for the NCAA tournament, playing against Oklahoma and old friends are at it again...

San Diego State men's basketball team was gathered in the Athletic Department's auditorium to watch the Selection Show on Sunday afternoon.

The team learned they received a No. 7 seed, playing against No. 10 Oklahoma. SDSU will have to travel 2,361 miles to Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA.

"I'd rather be playing in Salt Lake City or San Jose but we are playing and we'll jump on that plane to Philadelphia," SDSU head coach Steve Fisher said. "We'll be ready to go. Oklahoma doesn't have as far to travel but they have some distance to go too. We won't worry about the distance or travel. I think we'll be ok."

The Aztecs and Sooners are scheduled to tip off at 9:20 p.m. EST on Friday night (TBS), giving each team an extra day of preparation.

"I'm much happier that we are playing on Friday rather than Thursday especially going that far away," Fisher explained. "It gives you another day to prepare you don't have to travel and miss a full day of practice so I think it's good for us that we are playing on Friday."

SDSU got straight to work on Monday at their usual practice time, preparing for the Sooners.

"We'll gather all the information possible about Oklahoma, formulate a game plan, so we are working on it at Monday's practice," Fisher added. "Everybody has everything on everybody."

As soon as the Aztecs found out their opponent, fifth-year Director of Player Personnel Dave Velasquez went upstairs to the basketball offices and burned a disc of Oklahoma's last game, a Big-12 conference tournament loss to Iowa State.

"They will all take it (disc) home, it's a TV copy, look at it, listen to it and get familiar with Oklahoma," Fisher said. "We'll be ready to play."

Old Friends

There won't be unfamiliar faces when opposing coaches of San Diego State and Oklahoma face off on Friday night.

Steve Fisher and Oklahoma head coach Lon Kruger have been great friends over their coaching careers.

"I'd rather not be playing Lon Kruger to be honest," Fisher explained on Jim Rome show. "In this business you have a whole lot of acquaintances that you shake hands with, laugh for 20 minutes, and have very few friends.

"Lon is a true friend. It's been like that for a long, long time. When we go on events sponsored by different groups our wives have become very close. We talk about one another's family. We truly are friends… When we beat UCLA I got a text immediately after the game from Lon. When he beat Kansas there was the same from our end. It's genuine and to be honest it's rare. I wish we were both in opposite brackets."

Fisher has had Kruger's number with an (14-6) overall record including five straight victories.

Despite the familiarities between the two coaches, only senior shooting guard Chase Tapley played significant minutes when Kruger last faced the Aztecs.

"It wont be a big advantage," Kruger said. "It's different players for the most part from three years ago. Steve Fisher is a terrific coach. It will be challenging physically. We know they will rebound the ball very well and execute things well. All that we kind of assume is going to happen. They are a very good team."

Finishing Notes

-San Diego State point guard Xavier Thames fell hard on his injured back against New Mexico on Friday but everything looks to be OK.

"I'm good. I was just kind of scared," Thames said on Sunday. "It really didn't get hurt. I was just kind of scared the way I landed. I didn't feel any pain or anything like that."

-Sooners haven't made the big dance since 2009.

-What does OU plan to fine tune before Friday night?

"We just haven't finished a couple ball games," Kruger explained. "Our biggest concern is late game situations. Getting the ball where we need it to go, getting some stops defensively, all things teams need to do to win ball games."

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