Florida Atlantic vs San Diego State Preview
When- Saturday April 1, 5:09 PM CBS
Where- NRG Stadium, Houston, TX
Florida Atlantic- (C-USA)
Eye Test Analytics Ranking- 12
Strength Of Schedule- 79
San Diego State- (Mountain West)
Eye Test Analytics Ranking- 4
Strength of Schedule- 6
Why Florida Atlantic will win- Don’t be fooled by the number 9 seed. The Owls are the real deal beating a very good Memphis team in the round of 64 as well as Kansas State, which finished 3rd in the toughest conference in college basketball, in the Elite 8. Conference USA’s success in the postseason tournaments (Charlotte- CBI Champion, North Texas- NIT Champion, UAB-NIT Runner-Up) also proves their 35-3 record is no fluke. The Aztec’s offense can look anemic at times going 4 minutes and 28 seconds in the second half of their Elite 8 victory without scoring a point. On the year San Diego State ranks outside the top 220 in FG% and points per game and will face a stout FAU defense Saturday night.
Why San Diego State will win- Don’t be fooled by the number 5 seed. The Aztecs are the real deal winning both the Mountain West regular season and tournament championship. I had the MWC as my 4 toughest conference in NCAAB ahead of the ACC, Big East, and Pac-12 and had SDST ranked 9th entering the tournament. HC Brian Dutcher’s squad fended off a 31-win Charleston in the Round of 64, and went on to knock off top seeded Alabama in the Sweet 16 on their road to Houston. The defense has been sensational holding Bama to 11 points below their season average and Creighton 26 points below their average.
Key to the Game- Free Throw Shooting. Both teams have been average at the line this season. Add in the pressure of a trip to Monday’s National Championship on the line and the outcome of this matchup could very well be decided by free throws.
Eye Test Analytics Predicted Outcome- San Diego State by 1.31 points