The No. 9 FAU Owls take on the No. 5 SDSU Aztecs in the Final Four — the first Final Four in history for both programs. FAU overcame Kansas State and SDSU beat Creighton in two thrillers to reach the tournament semifinals.
The game will air at 6:09 p.m. ET on CBS on Saturday, April 1. SDSU enters as a 2-point favorite.
No. 9 FAU Owls
First-round result: Defeated Memphis, 66-65
Second round result: Defeated FDU, 78-70
Third-round result: Defeated Tennessee, 62-55
Fourth-round result: Defeated Kansas State, 79-76
KenPom rating: 17 Overall, 24 Offense, 29 Defense
NET ranking: 13, (2-1 VS Quad 1)
Leading scorer: Johnell Davis, 13.9 ppg
Key stat: Attempt an average of 27.3 three-pointers per tournament game
The FAU Owls kept moving in an instant classic against Kansas State that saw four players reach double-digit scoring. That kind of depth will need to come in handy as they face the best-remaining defense in the tournament. FAU has been reliant on their three-point shooting, staying steady just below 30% for much of the tournament before hitting 39% from the perimeter in their latest game. SDSU will challenge those shots time and time again.
No. 5 SDSU Aztecs
First-round result: Defeated Charleston 63-57
Second-round result: Defeated Furman 75-52
Third-round result: Defeated Alabama 71-64
Fourth-round result: Defeated Creighton 57-56
KenPom rating: 14 Overall, 75 Offense, 4 Defense
NET ranking: 14, (5-5 VS Quad 1)
Leading scorer: Matt Bradley 12.5 ppg
Key stat: Has not allowed a team to shoot more than 23% from the three, held two teams under 12%
I wish I could say SDSU has been the biggest surprise of this tournament, but just take a look at who they’re facing this weekend. They have been a powerhouse of a defense this tournament, though, shocking teams who struggle from their usual go-to spots on the court when they face the Aztecs. They have allowed a team to score more than 57 points just once, and it was overall No. 1 Alabama. SDSU limited a very consistent Creighton offense to just 11% from the three and 40% from the field and held Alabama to 11% from the three and 32% from the field.
Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook
Point spread: SDSU -2
Point total: 131.5
Moneyline: SDSU -130, FAU +110
Against The Spread Pick: SDSU -2
Point total pick: Under 131.5
Pick to Win: SDSU -130
SDSU’s defense is completely stifling and has shut down many higher-ranked teams than FAU. The Owls’ dependence on the three-point line, which SDSU has been all over this tournament, does not bode well for their chances. I see this being a low-scoring and perhaps somewhat ugly battle that SDSU ends up winning in the end by a shot or two.