ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Connecticut flew clear across the continent for the next round of the NCAA tournament. San Diego State hopped in a bus and drove 90 minutes up the interstate.

Huskies coach Jim Calhoun and Aztecs coach Steve Fisher have been doing this long enough to realize miles don’t matter at this point in the West regional — not compared to the distance both teams traveled all season to reach this stage.

Two surprisingly successful squads with much-respected leaders meet Thursday night at Honda Center, with the winner moving to the brink of the Final Four.

Calhoun acknowledges he has been thrilled by his freshman-laden lineup’s maturity at UConn (28-9), one of just two Big East teams left.

San Diego State (34-2) has never been this far.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)