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SportsDirect , Published March 21 2014

SportsDirect prediction: NDSU vs. San Diego State

Fresh off the first NCAA tournament win in school history, North Dakota State is setting its sights on higher goals. The 12th-seeded Bison will look to advance to the West regional semifinals when they take on No. 4 seed San Diego State in Spokane, Wash., on Saturday. The Aztecs, like North Dakota State, needed overtime to escape the second round and have no problem slowing things down and playing a physical game.

The Bison were bruised and bloodied by the time they got past fifth-seeded Oklahoma on Thursday but the freshest legs on the team came through when it counted. Freshman Carlin Dupree entered the game for the first time in overtime and scored four key points to make up for leading scorer Taylor Braun fouling out. The Aztecs held a 10-point lead late in regulation before stumbling into overtime and eventually finding their way into the round of 32.

TV: 5:10 p.m., TNT

ABOUT NORTH DAKOTA STATE (26-6): The Summit League champion shot 52.9 percent from the floor against the Sooners and grabbed the 80-75 overtime win despite conference Player of the Year Braun managing only 11 points on 3-of-11 shooting and fouling out down the stretch. The Bison, who have won 10 straight games, led the nation in field-goal percentage at .509 and will need every bit of offense they can find against the Aztecs, who finished second in the nation in scoring defense. North Dakota State could use more games like Thursday's contest from guard Lawrence Alexander, who put up a career-high 28 points against Oklahoma.

ABOUT SAN DIEGO STATE (30-4): The Aztecs held New Mexico State to 40 percent shooting from the field in their NCAA tournament opener but connected at only 39 percent themselves while sweating through the 73-69 triumph. San Diego State is strong on the interior defensively with Skylar Spencer, who collected four of the Aztecs' nine blocked shots Thursday, and Josh Davis. Xavier Thames scored 23 points to carry the offense in the opener and has put up at least 15 points in seven straight games despite struggling to 10-of-32 from beyond the arc in that span.

TIP-INS

1. The Aztecs are attempting to advance to the regional semifinals for the second time in four years.

2. The Bison are the first Summit League team to advance to the round of 32 since Valparaiso in 1998.

3. The winner moves on to the West regional semifinals in Anaheim, Calif.

PREDICTION: San Diego State 68, North Dakota State 59