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Sport Column: First loss by Aztecs to test their resilience, reputation

07:30  23 february  2020
07:30  23 february  2020 Source:   sandiegouniontribune.com

No. 4 SD State beats Boise State 72-55, remains undefeated

  No. 4 SD State beats Boise State 72-55, remains undefeated BOISE, Idaho (AP) — No. 4 San Diego State keeps winning, forcing coach Brian Dutcher to dig deep for creative ways to keep his team focused. After the Aztecs beat Boise State 72-55 Sunday, he revealed some of his slogans that keep the team on task. “Early in the year, we had five games in eleven days, so we were like, ‘Let’s win five in eleven,’” Dutcher said. “And then we had five games the entire month of December, so we said, ‘Let’s win five in December.’ And we did it. I told our team they don’t hang a banner for twenty wins, so we hung a banner with four to go.

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As you have said in the following: If your training loss is much lower than validation loss then this means the network might be overfitting. Solutions to this are to decrease your network size, or to increase dropout.

History put up an air ball.

The San Diego State basketball team — the No. 4 Aztecs, the previously unbeaten Aztecs, the positioned-to-be-a-No. 1-seed in the NCAA Tournament Aztecs, the piquing-America's-interest Aztecs — faced its mortality.

For the first time in 27 games, it blinked.

UNLV hijacked the hysteria Saturday during a stunning, 66-63 script-changer at Viejas Arena. The loss to a .500 team San Diego State had beaten in 16 of the last 17 meetings delivered skepticism directly to doubters' doorsteps.

Why you need to bet San Diego State to win the NCAA Tournament

  Why you need to bet San Diego State to win the NCAA Tournament Find line reports, best bets, and subscribe to push notifications in the Betting News section. If you're looking to bet one of the favorites to win the NCAA Tournament, you should first be reminded of this year's preseason poll and the series of shocking results that involved the teams atop it. Four of the top 11 teams, and six of the top 14, are currently unranked, including preseason favorite Michigan State and last year's national champion,If you're looking to bet one of the favorites to win the NCAA Tournament, you should first be reminded of this year's preseason poll and the series of shocking results that involved the teams atop it.

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People are more resilient than they realize and can learn to be more so. By her own accounts, Ms. Moor had it all. She and her husband, an architect named Chad, had two little girls, their own business and a house they designed and built in Orlando.

Many have argued this team was a paper tiger, roaring in a balsa-wood conference. Many refused to buy in, to bite, to believe the 26-0 record coming in was built of sound, lasting timber.

Were they right? After losing at home to a league rival they'd bullied for so long, the question intrigues.

BOX SCORE: UNLV 66, NO. 4 SAN DIEGO STATE 63

"We tasted defeat for the first time — and it didn't taste very good," Aztecs coach Brian Dutcher said. "… Now, we'll see how we respond to it."

So much, bruised in a blink. Potentially, the No. 1 seed. For sure, the chance to become the first to sprint through the Mountain West unbeaten. Without doubt, a dimming spotlight so rare at a place like Montezuma Mesa.

Credit the team sharing the ball, hitting clutch shots, defending like a mother bear, hustling like it was the one chasing the top line on a regional bracket. Credit energy from the tip, grit and greasy elbows. Credit UNLV.

UNLV hands No. 4 San Diego State its first loss, 66-63

  UNLV hands No. 4 San Diego State its first loss, 66-63 SAN DIEGO (AP) — Elijah Mitrou-Long scored 19 points, including two free throws with 11.5 seconds left, and UNLV handed No. 4 San Diego State its first loss of the season, 66-63 on Saturday night to end the Aztecs' 26-game winning streak. San Diego State, which had been the nation's only undefeated team since Jan. 15, erased most of a 14-point deficit when it pulled to 64-63 on Malachi Flynn's 3-pointer with 14.5 seconds left. Mitrou-Long was fouled by Matt Mitchell with 11.5 seconds left and made both free throws.Flynn missed a contested 3-pointer with 3.3 seconds left and the ball went to the Runnin' Rebels.

We offer news and commentary that supports building community resilience as a hopeful and practical response to multiple emerging challenges including the decline of cheap energy, climate change and biodiversity loss , and related social and economic issues.

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"It's a really great win for our programs," UNLV coach T.J. Otzelberger said.

The Aztecs, the ones who trademarked those qualities this season, decided to offer a hearty, helping hand. They clanked from 3 (29.6 percent). They clanked from point-blank range. They clanked too much at the line.

The unselfish, sharing Aztecs saw a page being ripped from their own book. The 15-14 Rebels steamrolled San Diego State in bench scoring, by a staggering total of 26-4. It's fair, too, to question the wisdom of raising the conference title-winning banner during pregame — offering the loftiest bulletin-board material of all.

"They've had a historic year," Otzelberger said. "Is there a chance it got talked about in our locker room before the game? Certainly, but I seem to forget what they said."

In the end, though, the loss was far more than mental.

The Rebels stormed in front by 14, just the third time the Aztecs had faced a double-digit deficit all season. In the other two games — against Utah State and now-No. 20 Iowa — they clawed back and won by double digits. Not this time.

Kansas back atop Top 25 as Baylor slides to No. 2 after loss

  Kansas back atop Top 25 as Baylor slides to No. 2 after loss LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Kansas is back on top of the college basketball world after knocking off Baylor in a matchup of Big 12 heavyweights, while the Bears dropped to No. 2 in The Associated Press men's poll Monday after their nip-and-tuck loss in Waco. The Jayhawks (24-3, 13-1 Big 12) received 62 of 64 first-place votes from the national media panel to take over the No. 1 ranking for the second time this season. Kansas also was atop the poll for one week in December, when it seemed as if just about every school that ascended to No. 1 promptly lost in a topsy-turvy start to the season.

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"It's kind of a reality check," said forward Matt Mitchell, who finished as one of just three Aztecs in double figures with 13 points. "It shows we're not invincible."

Chasing perfection rarely resembles a Parisian runway stroll. The potholes, the near-misses, the stumbles and scars, extract a price for fist-fighting with history night after night.

Sometimes, the boxer's nose looks like hamburger — especially after 27 rounds. So, what do we make of these suddenly earth-bound Aztecs?

The national amplification was picking up steam by the bucket. No team had sewn up an outright regular-season title with a quartet of games remaining since some guy named Steph Curry with Davidson in 2007-08. No team had side-stepped every pitfall to navigate a Mountain West season without a single blemish. Heady times, these have been.

Reporters from USA Today and Washington Post watched Saturday. For the home finale Tuesday, the New York Times and Sports Illustrated were scheduled to hop aboard the wagon. In recent weeks, Dutcher has appeared on the national radio shows of Jim Rome and Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski.

First loss doesn't sit well with No. 5 San Diego State

  First loss doesn't sit well with No. 5 San Diego State SAN DIEGO (AP) — The first loss of the season isn’t sitting well with the San Diego State Aztecs, other than maybe the timing. SDSU's perfect season ended Saturday night when it fell too far behind UNLV and couldn't close the gap, losing 66-63 just two hours after unveiling the regular-season Mountain West Conference championship banner. The loss snapped a school-record 26-game winning streak for the Aztecs, who had been the nation's lastSAN DIEGO (AP) — The first loss of the season isn’t sitting well with the San Diego State Aztecs, other than maybe the timing.

"For every one we do (on radio)," Senior Associate Athletic Director Mike May said before tipoff, "there's 10 we turn down."

Now, there's a new hill to climb. A quieter hill. Answers await.

To understand the sting of perfection erased, all someone had to do was glance at point guard Malachi Flynn during the postgame press conference. As Dutcher spoke, Flynn stared straight ahead as if cutting diamonds with his gaze.

Flynn, who scored a game-high 24 points and nearly willed his team back from an 11-point deficit with 3:59 to play, shot-faked a Rebels defender for a 3-pointer that cut it to one with 14.5 seconds left. He missed a 3 to tie with 5 seconds left. Mitchell picked off a pass for a half-court heave at the buzzer, but it sailed wide right.

The team maestro, a man of many basketball skills and few words, mustered even fewer.

"It doesn't feel very good," Flynn said.

The loss, if perhaps another follows, could end up a blessing in dented disguise. If the Aztecs slide to a No. 2 seed in the West Regional at some point, the road becomes more manageable.

That would put a trip to Los Angeles in the cards, if the Aztecs were to survive opening weekend. That's a chore list anyone would choose, rather than the chance of facing Duke at Madison Square Garden, the Blue Devils' home away from home.

College basketball rankings: Maryland moves closer to Big Ten title after rallying to beat Minnesota

  College basketball rankings: Maryland moves closer to Big Ten title after rallying to beat Minnesota Maryland hasn't secured an outright league title in 18 years. But that should change no later than next Sunday. The Terrapins, No. 8 in the Top 25 And 1, have a two-game lead in the Big Ten standings with three games remaining. College basketball rankings: Maryland is No. 8 in the updated Top 25 And 1.

Trust in that, no matter the temporary pain, no matter the sting of the moment, now that perfection has exited the arena.

"We've got to go back to the drawing board," Mitchell said.

No one remembers your first loss. Only your last.

———

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Related slideshow: Best of college basketball season (Provided by imagn)

a man holding a basketball: Virginia Cavaliers guard Casey Morsell (13) shoots against the Pittsburgh Panthers during the second half at the Petersen Events Center. Virginia won 59-56 on February 22, 2020. 

Utah State clinches 2020 NCAA tournament's first auto bid with a dramatic long-range dagger .
Utah State and San Diego State were tied at 56 in Las Vegas. A Mountain West title and an automatic bid were on the line. Merrill stared down San Diego State’s best defender, K.J. Feagin. He stared down the entire Thomas and Mack Center. He stared down a game-winner for the ages, the biggest shot of his glittering career. And he hit it. Malachi Flynn’s subsequent halfcourt heave with less than a second remaining rimmed out. Utah State bench players and cheerleaders and fans spilled onto the court. They were relieved, but also ecstatic. Because they’re going dancing.

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