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Nate’s NCAA SDSU vs. Alabama Tourney Expert Pick

San Diego St. vs. Alabama NCAA Tourney Expert Pick - March 24, 2023

SAN DIEGO STATE VS. ALABAMA NCAA TOURNEY EXPERT PICK -- MARCH 24, 2023 - We absolutely nailed our pick yesterday with UConn. It was largely a sweat-free occurrence (a rarity in the tourney) as UConn got up early and dominated the Razorbacks, just like we'd anticipated.

I teased today's writeup yesterday saying that I would be writing a love letter to the Creighton Bluejays, as I'm holding a 50/1 ticket on them to take the tournament down. That being said, I don't know how much value there is in laying double digits against Princeton tonight.

Thus, we'll focus on a game I actually have money on. Let's get in to why I like the Aztecs to hang tough against the Crimson Tide tonight.

The Odds






San Diego State

(27-6 SU)






(28-5 SU)






When: Friday, March 24, 2023 at 6:30 EST

Where: KFC Yum! Center, Louisville, KY


Public Bets: San Diego State, 55%

Public Money: San Diego State, 81%

Odds courtesy of DraftKings, as of March 24th, 2023

SDSU vs. Alabama Analysis

Don't sleepy on these feisty Aztecs

A lot like yesterday, and many of these funky tourney matchups, this just comes down to style of play when deciding how I want to bet.

The Aztecs want to wear teams out. They play at a slow tempo, and they are defensively-minded. They contest 3-pt. shots like demons and rate 4th in 3P% allowed while also limiting good looks in the paint.

Alabama almost exclusively works in both of the areas that the Aztec defense can count as a strength. Alabama shoots a three or gets to the rim for a tad over 90% of their shots which is the second-highest rate in the country. They are a team that has embraced the analytics movement so popular in the NBA and it has turned them into an offensive powerhouse.

San Diego State hasn't had a problem controlling the tempo of games against either Charleston or Furman who both look to push the pace much like Alabama will be looking to do. I think they will be able to grind this game down as well.

Given the strength of the defense and their ability to control tempo, I think the Aztecs can hang within the number and give Alabama a fight. Alabama is probably the best team in the country, but this is just an awful matchup for them. Upset alert time.


Arkansas vs. UConn Betting Trends

The MWC has been a humungous disappointment in the tourney this year (and most other years). No team from the conference has ever advanced past the Sweet Sixteen, so on trends alone, SDSU looks poised to go down against what is, on talent, a far superior team.

Alabama, on the other hand, has excellent trends in their favor. Most notably that Nate Oats is a gaudy 18-9-3 ATS when coaching on two days of rest or less. Alabama hasn't faced a serious threat so far having won both of their tournament games by more than 20 points.

The trends don't love my pick, but I'm sticking with my gut and trusting the matchup analysis.

The Pick

This is all Aztecs for me. Look for them to contest shots on the outside that will limit the good looks Alabama can get.

Keep in mind, Alabama shoots a ton of 3s, but their overall shooting numbers from outside aren't exactly setting the world on fire.

I see no reason why San Diego State can't hang around in this game and give Alabama a scare.

Nate's Pick

Aztecs +7.5

1 Comment

  1. Pingback:John Fredericks: Gonzaga and FAU Prevail in Elite Eight

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