Here are some results to chew on before the city basketball championship matching the University of San Diego and San Diego State Saturday night at the Aztecs’ Cox Arena.

Since Steve Fisher era began at SDSU, every time USD or SDSU advanced to the NCAA tournament, they lost to their cross-town rival.

In the 2001-02 season, when SDSU won the Mountain West Conference tournament title to advance to the NCAA, USD beat the Aztecs, SDSU won 72-67.

In the 2002-03 season, when USD won the West Coast Conference title to advance to the NCAA, the Aztecs defeated the Toreros, 78-72.

In the 2005-06 season, when SDSU won the MWC regular-season and tournament titles to advance, USD won the 90-80.

In the 2007-08 season, when USD won the WCC tournament to advance, the Aztecs won 69-64.

Sure, it’s just a coincidence, but at least it’s one that has us talking about NCAA trips.

This may be the biggest game in the rivalry of the city championship, considering USD is coming off an NCAA trip and SDSU also advanced to the post-season with an NIT appearance.

San Diego State and USD are both guided by coaches that elevated their programs. Fisher had guided SDSU to the post-season five times since 2002 (two NCAA, three NIT) and USD coach Bill Grier displayed his commitment to the Toreros by turning down Oregon State to stay here and continue what he started.

Maybe this will be the year, no matter who wins Saturday, that both teams

advance to the NCAA.

— TOM SHANAHAN

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