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San Diego State vs UConn Expert Picks and Predictions (March 28)

Zach Reger

by Zach Reger in College Basketball

Updated Mar 27, 2024 · 7:47 PM PDT

Apr 3, 2023; Houston, TX, USA; Connecticut Huskies center Donovan Clingan (32) blocks the shot of San Diego State Aztecs forward Jaedon LeDee (13) during the second half in the national championship game of the 2023 NCAA Tournament at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
  • #5 San Diego State meets the #1 overall seed UConn in the Sweet 16
  • This is a rematch of last year’s National Championship game
  • See below for San Diego State vs UConn picks and predictions on Thursday

San Diego State is looking for revenge in the Sweet 16, as they get another shot at the UConn team that beat the Aztecs in the National Championship last year. San Diego State surprised many last year and beat FAU on a buzzer beater in the Final Four to take on UConn. The Huskies won 76-59 as 7.5-point favorites. Many players on San Diego State are on their roster again this season.

The winner of this Sweet 16 matchup will get back to Elite Eight for a second straight season. They will face the winner of #3 Illinois and #2 Iowa State for a chance to represent the East Region of the March Madness bracket in the Final Four.

San Diego State vs UConn Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
San Diego State Aztecs +11 (-110) +450 Over 136 (-110)
Uconn Huskies -11 (-110) -630 Under 136 (-110)

Thursday’s college basketball odds list UConn as a heavy favorite to advance to the Elite Eight. The Huskies are -630 on the moneyline, which gives them an implied win probability of 86.3%. UConn is -11 against the Aztecs, and the total in this one is set at 136.

Heading into the Sweet 16. UConn remains the favorite in the Final Four odds. The Huskies are currently -230 to win their next to games and to get to the Final Four in Glendale. UConn is also the +220 favorite in the NCAA Tournament Championship odds. San Diego State is currently +1600 to reach the Final Four and +800 to win March Madness.

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San Diego State Representing the Mountain West Yet Again

Six Mountain West teams received a bid to the NCAA Tournament, and only one remains heading into the second weekend of March Madness: San Diego State. In fact, only Utah State got a win in the first round. Every other Mountain West team lost in the Round of 64. This is nothing new for the Aztecs, as last year, four teams from the conference made the tournament, and no team besides San Diego State made it past the first round.

The Aztecs won a close game against #12 UAB in the Round of 64, then cruised to a 85-57 victory over Yale in the second round. This year’s San Diego State team is very similar to last year’s because of players like Jaedon LeDee, Lamont Butler, and Darrion Trammell who returned this year. While they may have underperformed in the regular season, they still did enough in this season to earn a #5 seed and make it back to the Sweet 16.

Their offense leaves much to be desired, but they win with defense and rebounding. San Diego State is eighth in the country in adjusted defensive efficiency, marking the third straight year that the Aztecs have a top ten team in that category. They want to slow the game down and get good, high-quality shots. When those shots are going in, the Aztecs become difficult to beat. LeDee leads the team in scoring by far with over 21 points per game.

San Diego State went just 14-20 against the spread this year and was 2-5 ATS as an underdog.

UConn’s Domination Continues

Since last year’s tournament, UConn has won every game and they have covered every spread. Head Coach Dan Hurley is now 9-3 against the spread in the NCAA Tournament in his career, and UConn is 24-6 against the spread in their last 30 tournament games. The Huskies look determined to become the first team to go back to back since Florida did it in 2006 and 2007.

UConn took down #16 Stetson 91-52, then beat Northwestern in the Round of 32 75-58, despite not shooting well. The Huskies made just three three pointers against Northwestern but still found a way to win and cover as double-digit favorites. UConn is strong on offense and defense. They can score quickly and in multiple ways, and they are ranked ninth in adjusted defensive efficiency.

While the Huskies have multiple players that can take over, they are led by the guard duo Tristen Newton and Cam Spener, who average 15.3 and 14.4 points per game respectively. But you cannot forget about Donovan Clingan, who makes his presence felt on both sides of the ball and averages over 2 blocks a game. Even though UConn lost players from last year’s National Championship team, they returned plenty of talent and everyone took a step in the right direction.

The Huskies are an impressive 24-12 against the spread this season.

San Diego State vs UConn Prediction

While San Diego State is looking for revenge, I do not see how they can keep up with UConn. The Huskies just shot the ball poorly in their last game, and they still won by seventeen. Coach Hurley is an expert motivator and will have his guys ready to go out there and play better than they did against Northwestern.

San Diego’s defense will make some plays, but it is hard to imagine the Aztecs being able to score enough points to stay in this game. Since last season, UConn has won every March Madness game by double digits and that will continue against San Diego State.

Pick: UConn -11 (-110)

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