Utah State's first preseason exhibition for the 2012 season is Friday, Oct. 26, at 7 p.m. The Aggies have been picked to finish first in the WAC by the media and second by the coaches.
The Aggies have one of the best home court advantages in the nation. Over the last 5 seasons, Utah State has lost less than 10 matchups in their building, five coming last year after the graduation of six seniors, including four-year starters Tai Wesley, Pooh Williams and Tyler Newbold. This home court advantage is a result of what Aggie fans call "Spectrum Magic."
Here are five of the most magical Spectrum moments for USU men's basketball over the last decade.
Did we not include your favorite moment of Spectrum Magic? Comment or email us. firstname.lastname@example.org
For this list, we stuck to games that only occurred within the confines of the Spectrum. That doesn't mean that there weren't excellent moments that happened on the road.
Utah State was ranked when it hit the road for it's annual bracketbuster matchup. They were matched up with the only team in four years to walk about of the Spectrum with a win - St. Mary's. USU overcame a double-digit first half deficit and had turned it into a double-digit advantage when Clint Steindl started shooting the lights out and trimmed USU's lead to six. Jardine's emphatic throw-down dunk put the exclamation point on the bracketbuster win, and it was the definitive highlight of his collegiate basketball career.
It's impossible to talk about Aggie Basketball this century without talking about Wild Bill. It's also impossible to single out a single one of his performances as the most definitive of his career. This video was the best compilation of all of them we could find.
On Jan. 18, 2007, the USU had Boise State at home. Boise State played a remarkable game, shooting 59.1 percent from the field. The Aggies were down by nine with just more than 1:19 left to play, and promptly went on a 10-0 run to win.
Despite a very competitive series, one in which USU and BYU had traded wins for roughly a decade, BYU hadn't visited the Spectrum in four years. People lined up all the way across campus for an opportunity to get in this game, and for Aggie fans, the wait was worth it.
It was in this game where Preston Medlin, then a true freshman, became well-known to the Aggie faithful--and to the BYU faithful. Medlin hit a pair of 3-pointers midway through the second half to solidify a feeble Utah State lead. Pooh Williams and Tyler Newbold held Jimmer Fredette and Jonathan Tavernari to 6-26 from the floor and 23 points combined. Jared Quayle went off in this game. He scored a game-high 22 points and dished out four dimes.
Aggies love to beat the Cougars, partially because for a long time they could never get a leg up on the other major basketball program in state. Throughout the 1900's Utah had a stranglehold on the basketball version of the battle of the brothers. The story has been totally different during the last 10 meetings. The Utes have lost to the Aggies six of the last 10 times the two programs have met.
Jaycee Carroll Scored 27 points in 33 minutes of play against Utah on Dec. 6, 2012, and Chaz Spicer went 5-for-11 and hit two three pointers, none of which was bigger than the shot he hit to give USU a three-point lead with one second remaining.
Utah State and Nevada were both unbeaten this year in WAC play, and both teams had very few losses. This matchup gave USU a leg up against the Wolfpack for the regular season conference championship, a lead they never relinquished.
USU and UNR basically traded buckets for the first half and most of the second. With the score tied, Stavon Williams basically took over the game. He hit three straight shots--two from deep. The run, combined with a Brady Jardine block on current Portland Trail Blazer Luke Babbitt, caused the Spectrum to shake with noise.
"I got dizzy, man. It got so loud I forgot where I was at," Williams said after the game.
No one can really appreciate how monumental this game was unless you understand how good the 2007 Nevada Wolfpack basketball team actually was. The Pack had lost only two games all season long. They were riding a nine-game winning streak. They had quality wins against Oregon State, California, Gonzaga and eventual WAC tournament champion New Mexico State. They had already beaten USU by 17 just more than a month prior.
The Aggies overcame a 15-point deficit in the second half and sent the game to overtime. Fouls, both of the normal variety and of the technical variety, really hurt Nevada in this game, and USU's Chaz Spicer and Jaycee Carroll took complete advantage. A technical on Nevada's coach, Mark Fox, with minutes remaining in regulation gave USU a much-needed posession, and a Nick Fazekas foul with seconds remaining in overtime and a tied-up score put Chaz Spicer on the line. He drained both free throws; it was USU's first win over a top-ten team in more than nine years.