Watch the Aztecs take on UConn in Round 3 of the NCAA men's basketball tournament on CBS 8 Thursday, March 24 starting at 4:15 p.m.
SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - The Aztecs are just two days away from their first Sweet 16 contest against UConn, and one man in particular knows exactly what they're going through.
La Mesa native and Helix High grad Bill Walton knows just a little bit about pressure-filled basketball games. in the 70s he won two NCAA titles playing for John Wooden's powerhouse UCLA team.
Walton helped UCLA win National Championships in 1972 and 1973, and the San Diego native says he likes what he sees in San Diego State.
"They've got everything they need. They've got the players, they've got the coaches, they've got the fans," Walton said.
The Aztecs beat Northern Colorado for the school's first ever tournament win, then knocked off Temple in double overtime to get to the Sweet 16. Walton's first piece of advice for the Aztecs is not to be satisfied with what they've accomplished.
"It's not about just winning in the first round in Tucson and getting a couple victories against outmatched opponents. Now you're playing the big boys and that's what you dream for and that's when you know you've really got a game," Walton said.
The Aztecs play UCONN Thursday, an aggressive team with several solid players. Walton says the Aztecs have to get into their heads early.
"What you have to do is attack relentlessly. Go out there and think crush them, think break their spirit, break their will, make them walk home, and it's a long way back to Connecticut," he said.
Walton was part of a team that won 88 straight games at UCLA, and he did it while playing for one of the game's greatest coaches -- John Wooden.
"Coach Wooden taught us how to think, act, behave, ultimately become champions," Walton said.
Walton likes what he sees in Aztecs' coach Steve Fisher.
"He is firm, fair, and makes it fun and he coaches and teaches an exciting style," he said.
An exciting style that will hopefully bring State home a national championship.
"The Aztecs rock, beat 'em by a hundred," Walton said.