San Diego State coach Brian Dutcher shows off to fans the net he had just cut off, after the team's win 82-75 win over New Mexico in an NCAA college basketball game in the championship of the Mountain West Conference tournament Saturday, March 10, 2018, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/L.E. Baskow)
San Diego State coach Brian Dutcher made his mentor proud.
The Azteccs are back in the NCAA Tournament in Dutcher's first year after replacing longtime coach Steve Fisher. San Diego State beat New Mexico 82-75 to win the Mountain West Tournament title on Saturday and an automatic bid into the NCAAs.
— Aztec M. Basketball (@Aztec_MBB) March 11, 2018
The win ends a two-year NCAA drought for San Diego State. Duthcher took over as head coach after serving as an assistant to Fisher for 18 seasons. Dutcher held the title of associate head coach/head coach in waiting the previous six seasons.
San Diego State head coach Brian Dutcher, right, reacts during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Nevada Saturday, March 3, 2018, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Fisher put San Diego State on the college basketball map. He's perhaps best known for coaching the Fab Five at Mchigan and leading to the Wolverines to the national title after being promoted to head coach on the eve of the 1989 NCAA Tournament.
Interim Coach Steve Fisher cuts down the net after the Michigan Wolverines downed Seton Hall, 80-79, in overtime in the championship game of the Final Four Monday, April 4, 1989 in Seattle. Fisher replaced Bill Frieder, after Frieder took the Arizona State coaching job, and led them through the tournament to the national championship. (AP Photo/Bob Jordan)
Dutcher thanked Fisher after San Diego State's big win on Saturday.
Brian Dutcher’s first words after winning his first conference championship/auto-bid into the NCAA tournament as head coach of the SDSU Aztecs... thanked Steve Fisher for his mentorship and the team he left him..
— Rich Ohrnberger (@ohrnberger) March 11, 2018
Follow Genaro C. Armas on Twitter @GArmasAP