Steve Fisher cut down the final net in the NCAA tournament 25 years ago and reached two other national championship games, so he knows about playing deep into March.

He'd like to think his fourth-seeded San Diego State Aztecs can advance beyond the opening weekend this year. To have that chance, the defensive-minded Aztecs first will have to get past an intriguing matchup Thursday night in Spokane against 13th-seeded New Mexico State and its big, big man, 7-foot-5, 355-pound center Sim Bhullar.

Aztecs forward Winston Shepard recalls beating Bhullar in high school.

"All I can really remember is we had a triple team on him and we still got dunked on," Shepard said Monday.

Was he in on that triple team?

"No, not me. I don't get dunked on," Shepard said.

Have the Aztecs ever played against someone that big?

"No, I don't think anybody in America has," said Fisher, who has the Aztecs in the NCAA tournament for the fifth straight year and seventh time overall since taking over SDSU's previously sad-sack program starting with the 1999-2000 season. "He's a big, big man. Everything about him is so much better than it was a year ago. I believe he's only a sophomore. He will be someone who will make it difficult on us like he has on everybody he's played this year."