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Sweet 16

It kind of sucks that we lost last night. There’s no hiding that. I’m bummed for our players and our team. We’re a program climbing the mountain, struggling to get to a new pinnacle. So to be so close to advancing to the Elite 8 but not getting it done was hard.

The flip side is that we played tough and the guys didn’t make mistakes. Flat out… it took one of the nations best teams playing at their best to come back and beat us. They took it from us, not the other way around.

For those watching on TV you need to know how big the SDSU/Arizona game was compared to the Wisconsin/Baylor game that preceded it.

Wisconsin/Baylor game panorama

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San Diego State/Arizona panorama

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Here’s one thing I learned this year about NCAA basketball: So much of it is “made for TV.”

There are very few teams that travel as well as San Diego State & Arizona did last night. It was a great environment.

Having been to the round of 64/32 games in San Diego last weekend and the Wooden Legacy tournament over Thanksgiving… you just need to remember that those are events produced for a television audience.

Everything in the stadium is staged for TV. Anything that’ll be on camera is paid for as a sponsor to the TV producers or covered up. For example, every single inside of a cup holder was covered with blue tape in the Honda Center. 20,000 cup holders were taped on the inside…

Product placement is hilarious like that.

At Viejas, the standing policy is that you can bring outside food and empty water bottles. But for the NCAA games? Only Dasani water bottles, empty, were allowed to be brought in.

At games where there are lots of empty seats… they strategically place cameras so that the game looks full. And when you hear all that crowd noise on TV… for games that are nearly empty it’s just piped in. 

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This December 2012 game between Texas & UCLA was supposed to draw up to 40,000 fans. Less than 1,000 showed up.

I share all of that for one reason: Nothing needed to be staged last night. That game was hopping. No weird camera angles. No piped in music. Just two top teams duking it out in front of 17,000 screaming fans.

By Adam McLane

Adam McLane is a partner at The Youth Cartel, co-author of A Parent's Guide to Understanding Social Media, blogger of 10+ years, and a fan of all things San Diego State University Aztecs.

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