Microsoft Word 12">

SAN DIEGO - The Aztecs basketball season came to a crushing halt Tuesday night in the semi-finals of the NIT Tournament.

State lost to Baylor University 76-62 at Madison Square Garden in New York. Still, the team's school record 26 wins really got Aztec fans fired up. In fact, they organized several viewing parties all around town.

For Aztec fans at the Tilted Kilt Restaurant in Downtown and Players Sports Bar in Kearny Mesa, seeing a team go this far in any tournament has been a long time coming.

"This is absolutely the greatest thing to this university, sports-wise, in the last 40 years," said Larry Cook, SDSU alumnus.

Many fans agree that this was the biggest game in Aztecs basketball history. It was a boost to fans and to the school, Aztec alumni at both restaurants said. The school has had its ups and downs both academically and in sports, but seeing the basketball team play in New York brought a lot of smiles to the fans -- at least during the first half.

"I haven't seen this team do well since Smokey Gaines was the coach," said Aztec alumnus John Orendain,

State kept it close to Baylor in the first half, as they were only down by one point. But when the second half got rolling, the cheers turned to silence as the team fell apart.

"I'm disappointed. We came far, I mean, I'm a loyal Aztec fan," said Hernando Marceles, Aztec fan.

The team is expected to arrive back at Cox Arena on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.