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The 5 Best Lineups in San Diego Sports: March 2024

What not to miss on the local sports scene this month
SD Legion
Courtesy of San Diego Legion

SDSU Men’s Basketball vs. Boise State

Friday, March 8 | 7:00 p.m. | Viejas Arena

Where to Watch: FS1

The top of the Mountain West Conference standings are more jammed than the 805 during rush hour. After play on February 27, there are five teams—No. 20 SDSU, No. 22 Utah State, Boise State, UNLV, and Nevada—within a game of each other. This means the regular season conference title could be up for grabs when the Aztecs take on Boise State in the last home game of the year.

It will also be Senior Night at Viejas Arena, where fans will bid adieu to the 2024 senior class, already the most accomplished in school history. SDSU heads to the Mountain West postseason tournament next, and regardless of how they do there they are locked to make the NCAA tournament. With one more postseason run ahead of them, Lamont Butler, Jaedon LeDee, and their fellow seniors could add even more banners to the rafters. 

Concacaf Women’s Gold Cup final

Sunday, March 10 | 5:15 p.m. | Snapdragon Stadium

Where to Watch: CBS | Paramount+ | ESPN

The U.S. women’s national team was expected to compete for the first-ever W Gold Cup trophy at Snapdragon Stadium. The question was who would join them in the final. Then Mexico pulled off a 2-0 upset over the U.S. in group play and all bets are off. Will either Brazil or Colombia, who battled in group play in San Diego, make it to the final? How about the Canadian team currently ranked top-10 in the world? And who can discount the Mexican team now? Whichever teams survive the knockout rounds, the San Diegans at the final match will be the soundtrack and backdrop to soccer history

San Diego Legion vs. RFC Los Angeles

Saturday, March 16 | 7:00 p.m. | Snapdragon Stadium

Where to Watch: The Rugby Network

In researching this piece, I found that the San Diego Legion lost last year’s Major League Rugby championship game by a single point. Then I looked up whether a point is called a point in rugby. (It is.) Then I looked up who the Legion’s best players are.

Tomas Aoake, Christian Poidevin, and Mikey Te’o all made the 2023 All-MLR First Team. But this much I know: rugby is growing in the U.S., and San Diego has a particular interest in it. So much so, two of the best rugby teams in the world in Fiji and the All Blacks of New Zealand will play at Snapdragon Stadium in July. Before then, the Legion will take the field, er, pitch, on March 16 to begin their defense of the Western Conference crown.

San Diego Wave vs. Kansas City Current

Saturday, March 23 | 7:00 p.m. | Snapdragon Stadium

Where to Watch: Ion

In the Wave’s inaugural season in 2022, the team broke a single-game women’s soccer attendance record and reached the NWSL semifinal. In their second season, the Wave won the NWSL Shield as the best regular season team and again reached the semifinal. In the offseason, the Wave traded for forward Elyse Bennet and signed midfielder Savannah McCaskill to complement a core featuring star forward Alex Morgan and goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan.

In the 2024 home opener, the Wave should make quick work of the Kansas City Current, who are trying to find their footing in the NWSL. More importantly, it’s the first opportunity for fans to see if the Wave have what it takes to win not only the franchise’s first title, but also San Diego’s first major sports championship since 1963.

San Diego Padres vs. San Francisco Giants

Thursday, March 28 | 1:10 p.m. | Petco Park

Where to Watch: Mountain West Network

The Padres lost the 2023 season opener to a listless Colorado Rockies team, portending a season of frustration and disappointment. In the first spring training game of 2024, the Pads lost 14-1 on national TV to their bitter rivals the Los Angeles Dodgers. They’ll look to turn things around on Opening Day, when hopes are high, pessimism is low, and every team is 0-0. Well, except this year.

The Padres start their regular season on March 20 in South Korea with a two-game series against the Dodgers, then they return to the States, play a few more exhibitions, and restart the regular season at home against the San Francisco Giants. It’s a scheduling oddity that might just bring them good fortune. After all, they can’t possibly have worse luck than last year, when they outscored their opponents by 104 runs, but went 9-23 in games decided by one run and 2-12 in games decided in extra innings. 

That hasn’t deterred Padres fans, as there are few seats available for the home opener. It reminds me of the quote attributed to baseball Hall of Famer Roger Hornsby: “People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.”

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