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Aztecs look to win another Conference title this week in Las Vegas

The Aztecs have dominated the Mountain West Conference Tournament over the years and hope to do it again this week.

LAS VEGAS — The Aztecs have done their homework. They've won the number one seed in the conference tournament which means they get to play a lesser opponent. 

The Aztecs get to play the early game, which means more rest if they win and get to play on Friday. The Aztecs will get to participate in the tournament in their home away from home, the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas.

"It's nice because our fans travel," Aztecs Head Coach Brian Dutcher said. Dutcher added, "So it always feels like we have the most fans in the building. Our Aztec fans are loyal. They're passionate, they make that drive, they're gonna be there in force. So that's always the best part having our Aztec fans follow us. It gives us comfort on a road floor making it feel like a home game."

The Aztecs are the winningest team in conference tournament history. They have more wins than any other team (34), more championships than any other team (6) and more appearances in the final game than any other team (14). 

"Everybody's talking about it's March! It's March!," said Aztecs Guard Lamont Butler. He continued, "Yeah, it's March. It's March this time. So we're very excited. Like I said, we have big aspirations. This year, we wanted to make it all the way to the national championship and win it. So that's our goal."

"Anytime you step on the floor, you play to win, so winning this conference tournament will be like a plus. We're taking the time to practice and make sure we are the best team out there in Vegas. We are not taking anything for granted and make sure that anytime step on the floor we know what's at stake," said Aztecs Forward Nathan Mensah. 

The Aztecs need to win three games in three days to hang another banner in Viejas Arena. 

"You know last year I thought we had a really good year but when you look back and you're not hanging a banner at all," Dutcher said.  "It's kind of disappointing even though you make the NCAA tournament. You want something to show for it."

"When I came here, I wanted to just hang banners and get rings here," Butler added.  "It's just another opportunity for us to do that."

"This year, hanging the regular season banner, hopefully we can get to the conference tournament, hang another banner," Dutcher said. "You feel good about what you've done. And then you go for the ultimate prize which is trying to win on the biggest stage which is the NCAA tournament."

Perhaps the only thing the Aztecs have going against them is their seeding. They're the number one seed which you can't improve upon, but a little known fact about this tournament is the number two seed has won it more than any other. The number two seed this year? Boise State.  A program the Aztecs have lost to four of the last five times they've met.  

WATCH RELATED: Nathan Mensah | SDSU Aztecs Men's Basketball 2022/23 preview 

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