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Mitch’s Pick for UConn vs. San Diego State

Mitch’s Pick for UConn vs. San Diego State

MITCH’S PICK FOR UCONN VS. SAN DIEGO STATE — The defending champion UConn men’s basketball team faces San Diego St. tonight in a rematch of the national title game from last year.

The Huskies made light work of Northwestern, 75-58, in the round of 32 while the Aztecs did the same defeating Yale 85-57 advancing to the Sweet Sixteen. UConn has dominated its first two games and looks to be the first repeat national title champion since the 2007 Florida Gators.

With the Huskies favored by 11 points, the oddsmakers have penciled them into the Elite 8. It’s time to break down this matchup and see if San Diego St. can conjure up the same magic from last year, and not only cover the spread, but win the game outright and advance. 


Related: Sweet 16 Power Rankings

The Odds 






San Diego State

(26-10 SU, 14-19-1 ATS) 






(33-3 SU, 24-12 ATS)






When: Thursday, March 28 at 7:40 p.m. EST 

Where: TD Garden, Boston


Public Bets: 78% on Connecticut 

Public Money: 70% on Connecticut

Odds courtesy of DraftKings, as of March 28th, 2024

Can the Aztecs Unseat the Monarchy?

San Diego St. comes in winning four of their last five games but is 3-7 in the last 10 games against the spread. If we look at the KenPom rankings the Aztecs faced the 32nd-toughest strength of schedule and went 8-9 against tournament teams.

Sticking with the KenPom analysis this team ranks 17th with the 8th best defense and the 53rd best offense measured in efficiency. The statistic that stands out is the 266th ranking in tempo, meaning they like to slow down the pace of play. 

Related: Alabama vs. North Carolina Pick and Prediction

UConn’s dismantling over upset minded Northwestern was impressive and may be a sign of trends to come. They have won nine in a row and 23 of their last 24 games. They faced the 41st-toughest schedule and faced six tournament teams only losing to Kansas in the regular season. They have dominated in this stretch going 11-2 ATS.

The Huskies are KenPom darlings, ranking #1 overall. They are 2nd in defensive efficiency and 9th in defense. UConn also likes to slow down the tempo, ranking 315th in that category.

Related: Clemson vs. Arizona Pick and Prediction

Cling to Clingan

The Aztecs are led by senior forward Jaedon LeDee, who averages 21.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. He has an inside-out game and shoots an impressive 45.2 percent from the three-point line. He is the heart and soul of this team and must play well for them to have any chance to cover or win. He will be looking for contributions from junior guard Reese Waters (9.8 ppg and 3.7 rpg), senior guard Lamont Butler (9.4 ppg and 1.5 spg) and senior guard Micah Parish (9.3 ppg and 4.1 rpg). 

UConn is perhaps the most balanced team in the tournament. Tristen Newton averages 15.1 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 6.1 assists per game and epitomizes this balanced philosophy. He will be helped by senior guard Cam Spencer (14.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg, and 3.6 apg), sophomore forward Alex Karaban (13.9 ppg and 4.9 rpg), and sophomore center Donovan Clingan (12.7 ppg, 7.2 rpg, and 2.2 bpg).

The Pick 

The Aztecs just don’t have the scoring that propelled them to the national title game last year. While Ledee is very good in the post he will be facing Clingan who is the nation’s 18th best post-up defender. San Diego St. only shoots 32% from three-point range. Both coaches are amazing at adjustments and schemes.

But this team that Dan Hurley has put together has a playbook that is too deep for the Aztecs to win. Even when San Diego St. had standout player Matt Bradley last year the Huskies adjusted and dominated. Expect a slow dominating performance from the Huskies.  Take UConn and the under.

Mitch’s Picks 

 Connecticut -11  

 Under 136


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