NCAA Tournament preview: SDSU vs. St. John's - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

NCAA Tournament preview: SDSU vs. St. John's

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Watch the SDSU Aztecs vs. St. John's on CBS 8 Friday at 6:40 p.m.

SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - The Aztecs take the big stage Friday night for their first match-up of the tournament against St. John's.

San Diego State is favored to win, but the underdogs have been making their presence known.

In the above video report, CBS News 8's John Howard has a preview of Friday night's game in North Carolina.

SAN DIEGO (AP) — San Diego State has a decided March advantage over St. John's, its opponent in the NCAA Tournament on Friday in Charlotte, North Carolina.The Aztecs will be making their sixth straight NCAA appearance and have nine players with tournament experience. St. John's has none.

SDSU has won five NCAA Tournament games since 2011, reaching the Sweet 16 twice in that span. That was the last time the Red Storm made the field.

Dwayne Polee II was a freshman on that St. John's team before transferring to San Diego State. The Red Storm roster has completely turned over since then.

Says coach Steve Fisher: "We're going to need to score more than 43 points if we're going to be successful, and I believe that we will."

SDSU lost to Wyoming in the Mountain West tournament title game, 45-43.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — St. John's coach Steve Lavin says that while center Chris Obekpa's suspension is "less than ideal," he still believes the Red Storm has what it takes to overcome the shot blocker's absence in the NCAA Tournament.

Obekpa was suspended Sunday for a violation of team rules.

Lavin said Thursday, "We have had a number of stretches where we have had to play without Chris and been successful."

The Red Storm, the ninth seed in the South region, faces No. 8 seed San Diego State on Friday.

The 6-foot-10 Obekpa started 24 of 30 games this season, averaging 5.8 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.2 blocks per game. His 321 career blocks are the most in school history.

St. John's is seeking its first NCAA Tournament win since 2000.

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