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Furman vs. San Diego State preview, picks for second round of 2023 NCAA Tournament

The Paladins and Aztecs meet at Amway Center in the second round of the 2023 NCAA Tournament. We’ve got everything you need on both teams ahead of the game here.

Marcus Foster of the Furman Paladins dribbles the ball against Kihei Clark #0 of the Virginia Cavaliers during the second half in the first round of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Amway Center on March 16, 2023 in Orlando, Florida. Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images

After upsetting Virginia in the Round of 64, the No. 13 seed Furman Paladins will look to continue their Cinderella run through the NCAA Tournament when they take on the No. 5 seed San Diego State Aztecs in the Round of 32.

Tip-off is set for 12:10 p.m. ET on Saturday. The game will be broadcast on CBS. San Diego State is a 6-point favorite according to DraftKings Sportsbook.

No. 13 Furman: 28-7 (15-3 Southeast Conference):

First-round result: 68-67 win over Virginia
KenPom rating: 88 Overall, 32 Offense, 178 Defense
NET ranking: 88, (0-2 VS Quad 1)
Leading scorer: Mike Bothwell 17.8 PPG
Key stat: Furman’s win over Virginia was the school’s first NCAA Tournament win in 50 years. The Paladins will look to make up for lost time against the Aztecs.

The more you think about Furman’s win, the more improbable it seems. With six seconds left, Virginia guard Kihei Clark got caught in a trap and, instead of calling a timeout, chucked the ball down the court, when Furman’s Garrett Hien stole the ball and passed it to JP Pegues, who knocked down a game-winning three to win the game — never mind the fact he had missed his last three attempts from deep. The Paladins were trailing by 12 with 15 minutes left but were able to take a lead with five minutes left after they switched to zone on defense.

For the Paladins to pull off another upset, they’ll need their offense to show up again. Four of their five starters finished in double-figures against the Cavaliers (senior Jalen Slawson led the way with 19 points). They’ll need that balanced production against the Aztecs.

No. 5 San Diego State: 28-6 (15-3 Mountain West):

First-round result: 63-57 win over Charleston
KenPom rating: 16 Overall, 74 Offense, 9 Defense
NET ranking: 14, (5-5 VS Quad 1)
Leading scorer: Matt Bradley 13.1 PPG
Key stat: The Aztecs are one of the best perimeter defense teams in the country, and held Charleston to 20% from deep in their Round of 64 game.

When the Aztecs are on, they’re one of the top defensive teams in the country. While their offense leaves some time to be desired, they’re a senior-led team that plays hard on both sides of the floor.

While Bradley is the only Aztec who averages double-figures, they’re a deep team, as he’s one of six Aztecs who average more than seven points a game. While no one

The Aztecs' big advantage will be in bench depth and talent, so look for a big game from reserve forwards Jaedon Ledee and Aguek Arop.

Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook

Point spread: San Diego State -6
Point total: 138
Moneyline: San Diego State -240, Furman +200

The Pick

Against The Spread Pick: Furman +6
Point total pick: Under 138
Pick to Win: Furman

Furman’s going to keep dancing. While San Diego State’s defense is legit, the Paladins are going into this matchup with no fear, and have three bonafide scorers in Bothwell, Slawson and Pegues. This’ll be a low-scoring affair where every bucket matters and Furman’s proficiency to let it fly from deep should make the difference.