The No. 5 San Diego State Aztecs will face off against their toughest opponent yet in the Sweet 16 as they take on the No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide. The game will take place on Friday, March 24 at the KFC YUM! Center in Louisville. It will air on TBS at 6:30 p.m. ET. Alabama enters as a 7.5-point favorite.
No. 5 San Diego State (29-6, 15-3 MWC)
First-round result: Defeated Charleston, 63-57
Second-round result: Defeated Furman, 75-52
KenPom rating: 14 Overall, 24 Offense, 10 Defense
NET ranking: 14, (5-5 VS Quad 1)
Leading scorer: Matt Bradley, 12.8 PPG
Key stat: Holds opponents to 60.1 ppg (5th in the nation)
The San Diego State Aztecs looked shaky in a messy win over Charleston in the first round but dominated a fan-favorite Furman team in the Round of 32. Their highly-ranked defense was on display in the second round as they outrebounded the Paladins 41-24 and held them to just 23% from the field.
Alabama will be the hardest team they’ve faced this tournament by quite a long shot. Furman’s first-round upset provided the Aztecs an easier path to the Sweet Sixteen, where they will face the No. 1 overall seed of the tournament.
No. 1 Alabama (31-5, 16-2 SEC)
First-round result: Defeated TAMU-CC, 96-75
Second-round result: Defeated Maryland, 73-51
KenPom rating: 3 Overall, 21 Offense, 3 Defense
NET ranking: 2, (12-5 VS Quad 1)
Leading scorer: Brandon Miller, 19.5 PPG
Key stat: 26.2 bench points per game (24th in the nation)
Alabama is frighteningly good, blowing out two opponents back-to-back in a tournament that has seen multiple No. 1 and 2 seeds already out after the first weekend. Their depth is impressive — even when their top scorers aren’t putting up big numbers, they are still getting plenty of looks. Their defense is a major part of this — despite shooting under 40% from the field, they out-rebounded the Terps 44-32 and held them to 35% from the field.
Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook
Point spread: Alabama -7.5
Point total: 137
Moneyline: Alabama -380, SDSU +240
Against The Spread Pick: Alabama -7.5
Point total pick: Under 137
Pick to Win: Alabama
Alabama is on a roll, and SDSU won’t be able to outmatch them offensively, even if they can go toe-to-toe on defense. I like Bama to win big here.