UTAH STATE AGGIES

Big Stage, Bright Lights, High Stakes Are Just What The Aggies Ordered

Mar 22, 2024, 9:17 AM | Updated: 10:13 am

INDIANAPOLIS – There is no tournament in the world quite like March Madness.

Not only do you have to build a strong resume over the span of 30 games or play flawlessly in a conference tournament to earn an automatic bid, but once you get to The Dance there is no forgiveness.

No second chances.

After all the hard work it takes to be one of just 68 teams it only takes one loss to send you home.

 

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Utah State Aggies At NCAA Tournament

Over the past 23 years the Utah State Aggies have had nine chances to make some March magic. But all nine times their stay at the Tournament was immediately cut short.

In fact, since the NCAA Tournament field expanded to 64 teams in 1985 the Aggies have only experienced the joy of winning a game in the tournament once. A 12 vs 5 upset in 2001 over Michigan State.

RELATED: Utah State Aggies & The Improbable Journey To Indianapolis

So why should Aggies fans have faith in the 2024 version of the team?

“If we play confident there’s nobody that can stop us,” junior guard Josh Uduje said at Thursday’s practice.

That confidence is strong in the Utah State locker room. It helps that AP Honorable Mention All-American Great Osobor has been there before.

“My first year at Montana State we had a tough first round. And then last year I thought we did a little bit better,” Osobor said. “I feel like those two experiences I had at Montana State really prepared me to give guys more experience on what to do this year and put ourselves in a good position.”

 

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Yes, this is the big stage. Yes, the lights shine brighter. Yes, the stakes are higher than at any other time in the season. But this trip to Indianapolis isn’t much different than any of the others they’ve been on this season.

“It’s March Madness but we’re preparing the same way doing all the same things we’ve done all year,” redshirt freshman Mason Falslev said. “We’re just ready for the game.”

“Obviously it’s the NCAA Tournament,” Osobor added. “But we just played in the Mountain West tournament and that’s pretty high level basketball too. So I feel like that prepared us to be in this situation right now.”

We will all see if that preparation indeed is enough on Friday night when the Aggies tip off against 9th seeded TCU at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Here’s where you can catch the game.

Sam Farnsworth is a sports anchor and reporter for KSL 5 TV and KSL Sports. You can keep up with Sam in Indianapolis with the Utah State Aggies at the NCAA Tournament by following him on X and Instagram. 

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Big Stage, Bright Lights, High Stakes Are Just What The Aggies Ordered