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Prediction for FAU-San Diego State in Final Four of 2023 NCAA Tournament

Grace McDermott takes you through what she thinks will happen and gives a score prediction for FAU-SDSU in the Final Four of the 2023 NCAA Tournament.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament East Regional-Florida Atlantic vs Kansas State Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The No. 9 FAU Owls face the No. 5 SDSU Aztecs in what will mark the first ever Final Four appearance for each program. The Owls shocked Kansas State in the Elite Eight and SDSU upset No. 1 Alabama in the Sweet Sixteen to advance and beat Creighton. The two will face off in Houston on Saturday, April 1 at 6:09 p.m. ET for a shot at the national title game.

Here’s what we think is going to happen on Saturday:


Spread: SDSU -2
Total: 131.5
Moneyline: SDSU -130, FAU +110

No. 9 FAU vs. No. 5 SDSU Final Four Prediction

FAU takes on San Diego State in one of the least predictable Final Four matchups that we could have seen coming at the beginning of the tournament, but now it’s time to predict it. FAU has been perhaps the biggest surprise of this tournament, and their ability to outlast close games time and time again when it comes down to big-time, high-stakes moments has been impressive.

But it’s going to get a lot harder from here on out. Whether they make it to the final few minutes with a legitimate shot at a win against San Diego State remains to be seen. The Owls have been leaning hard on three-point shooting for much of this tournament, attempting nearly 30 shots from the perimeter per game, but SDSU has been absolutely stifling from the outside on defense.

With Nathan Mensah under the rim for the Aztecs and a tough perimeter defense, FAU is going to need to get creative on offense. The good news for the Owls is that San Diego State is not particularly good on their own offensive side of the court. SDSU has turned the ball over 43 this tournament while forcing 36 from opponents. They may have issues with ball security against an FAU team that will make the most of breakaway opportunities.

Nevertheless, I think the Aztecs’ defense will wear FAU down by the last 7 or 8 minutes of the game and allow them to pull ahead. FAU may simply run out of open shots to take here. I expect this to be a low-scoring and physical affair.

Final score: SDSU 59, FAU 54