Aztecs’ NCAA Tournament Run Ends with Loss to Duke
A capacity crowd of more than 200 Aztec alumni and fans packed the Parma Payne Goodall Alumni Center ballroom March 27 to cheer the SDSU women’s basketball team on to an appearance in the NCAA tournament’s so-called “Elite Eight.” But it was not to be as the second-seeded Duke Blue Devils spoiled the Aztec’s first-ever Sweet 16 appearance by beating 11th-seeded SDSU 66-58.
Still, many fans appreciated the team’s run in the tournament saying they were left looking forward to next season.
Aztec alumna Janet Mulder ('58,'76) with her "Sweet 16" t-shirt at the March 27 Aztecs vs. Duke watch party.
“I’m so excited about next year,” said Janet Mulder (’58, ’76). “I mean, think about it: We’re going to have (most of the players) back, just about, so it’ll be great. It will be a good year, I think.”
Mulder, whose husband Gerald (’59) played center for the Aztec men’s team in the late 1950s, bought a specially-designed “Sweet 16” t-shirt to remember the magical tournament run. It was one of scores of commemorative items scooped up by fans at the watch party.
In a halftime fund-raising auction, Aztec fan Bill Bland placed the winning bid for a basketball autographed by women’s head coach Beth Burns and the team. A season ticket-holder for the past two years, Bland said he believes the team’s tournament performance bodes well for the future.
Aztec fan Bill Bland submitted the winning bid for a basketball autographed by Coach Burns and the team.
“They were a little rocky at the beginning (of the season)” he observed. “But they came together as a group even with the couple of players who were out with injuries. They’re just on a roll now. They have so much confidence and great coaching.”
Both Bland and Mulder agreed that the first sold-out watch party in the new Parma Payne Goodall Alumni Center was a hit. Fans enjoyed watching the game on two giant screens while eating hot dogs and hamburgers grilled on the center’s Sunset Terrace.
“It’s a great venue,” said Bland. “There are a lot of fans here. It’s fun.”View a photo album of the Sweet 16 watch party.