The same person bought 2,500 tickets to the previous tournament game and donated them to the students, sources told FOX 5.
Normally, during the season, students get free tickets that are paid for by a fee included in their tuition. But the last two games have been considered separate and not SDSU-sponsored functions, so there were no free tickets for the students.
"It's really nice that the community stepped up and supported students this way. It's a little thing but it means a lot," said student Brendan Price.
The university said each ticket cost $5, which means the anonymous donor has spent $25,000 on tickets so far.
Second-seeded San Diego State will play host to fourth-seeded Georgia Tech on Wednesday in the quarterfinal round of the NIT at 6 p.m. on Steve Fisher Court at Viejas Arena. Tickets for the game will go on sale to the general public on Tuesday.