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San Diego State vs. Connecticut Expert Pick and Prediction – March 28, 2024

San Diego State vs. Connecticut Expert Pick and Prediction – March 28, 2024 

SAN DIEGO STATE VS. CONNECTICUT EXPERT PICK AND PREDICTION – March 28, 2024 — The regional semifinal gives us a rare rematch of the national title game — and this one might not be as close as the previous one. Connecticut appears better than it was a season ago, while San Diego State isn’t quite where it was last year.

Once again, the Aztecs are left to carry the flag of the Mountain West after the league mostly fell short in round 1. Once again, San Diego State benefited from a bracket collapse, as it got to play a 12 and a 13 to reach the Sweet 16 for the second consecutive year. That didn’t affect the Aztecs last year, as they put the squeeze on Alabama and slowed down the Tide’s powerful offense to reach the Elite Eight on the way to the title game.

But this Connecticut team appears far more complete than Alabama was. The Huskies have dominated the year for the most part, losing just three games all season. There are a few questions as to how deep the Big East was, but Connecticut has looked dominant. San Diego State, on the other hand, won just once against a team that’s still in the tournament.

Related: Sweet 16 Power Rankings

That win came against Gonzaga, and that was back in December. The Aztecs have since faced nothing but Mountain West and lower-level opponent, and this marks their first game against a Power 6 opponent since Dec. 21 against Stanford. Can they rise to the challenge?

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

San Diego State vs. Connecticut In-Season Trends 

Being the most reliable team in the Mountain West would seem to be a recipe for covers, but San Diego State hasn’t even gotten there. The Aztecs are just 2-3 ATS in the postseason, and part of that happened because they got to play a Yale squad that clearly had nothing left after surviving Auburn. San Diego State is a mere 3-7 ATS in its past 10 games, and it has mostly been a poor bet this season.

Related: Alabama vs. North Carolina Pick and Prediction

Connecticut remains a rock-solid choice as a bet. Other than a loss in Omaha, where the Huskies never have any success, Connecticut has been one of the best bets in the nation. The Huskies boast an 11-2 ATS mark in their past 13 games, and only St. John’s and Creighton have manage to avoid a double-digit loss since Feb. 6.

The Difference-Makers 

Last season, Jaedon Ledee was a non-factor in the national title game. If that happens again, the Aztecs’ chances drop to absolute zero. Ledee was more of a role player last year; he’s San Diego State’s most important player this season. He’s topped 20 points in six consecutive games, and the most recent one where he didn’t was a four-point loss at UNLV.

Related: Clemson vs. Arizona Pick and Prediction

Tristen Newton makes everyone on the floor better with his vision of where the ball needs to get. Against Northwestern, he posted a double-double and never let the Wildcats get into the game. San Diego State has to find a way to make him uncomfortable.

The Pick 

Last year, this round represented the right kind of No. 1 seed for San Diego State to play. The Aztecs fare well against a team that’s offense-heavy and likes to play quick, because they excel at locking down and forcing defense to figure it out.

Connecticut already plays that way. The Huskies simply don’t make mistakes with the ball and know how to get good shots when they’re forced to be patient. They also will take full advantage of San Diego State’s tendency to foul. Throw in a partisan crowd in Boston, and this doesn’t appear like the Aztecs have a good matchup here. The Huskies keep their run going.

Dan’s Picks 

 Connecticut -11  

 Under 136


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