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Battle of Surprising Teams at Final Four

The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Final Four is set to tip off on Saturday and we have predictions on who we think is going to make it to the championship.

The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Final Four is set and is full of surprises. If you envisioned a bracket without any top seeded teams in it, along with three teams participating in their first Final Four appearance, congratulations, you have a crystal ball.

Fifth-ranked San Diego State Aztecs and ninth ranked Florida Atlantic Owls will meet in the opening game on Saturday.

The fourth-ranked University of Connecticut Huskies will play the fifth-ranked University of Miami Hurricanes in the nightcap.

To put these pairings in perspective, this is the first time since seeding began in 1979 that no team ranked better than No. 4 has reached the Final Four.

We take a look at the two games below and offer best bets and predictions.

San Diego State’s Defense Shines Against FAU

San Diego State matchup against Florida Atlantic. The Aztecs are favored by two points and the total is 131.5. The Aztecs have won each of their tournament games by an average of nine points. Florida Atlantic has won each of their games in this trip to the finals by an average of 4.7. San Diego State is ranked first in the nation since February 1 in adjusted defensive efficiency.

Florida Atlantic has been down in the each of their games. Each time the Owls have gone on runs that let them seize the victory in relatively tight contest.

The Aztec’s most impressive win was against No. 1 seed Alabama Crimson Tide by a score of 71-64. The Elite Eight win over Creighton Blue Jays is slightly tainted because of a foul call against Creighton gave the Aztecs the one-point win.

The Owls most impressive win was a 79-76 victory over Kansas State University Wildcats in the Elite Eight.

Final Analysis

The Aztecs are the better defensive team. They don’t allow teams to go on extended scoring runs. Johnell Davis is the Owls top scorer in the tournament at 17.2 points per game. The Aztecs limited Alabama’s Brandon Miller to eight points in their win over the Crimson Tide. A repeat performance against Davis will place them in the Championship game. Take San Diego State minus the points. The game goes under.

Prediction: SDSU -2 over FAU (-112 at Unibet)

Total: Under 131.5 (-107 at Unibet)

Watch: Saturday, 6:09 p.m. ET, CBS or FuboTV

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UConn’s Strength Too Much for Miami

The University of Connecticut Huskies against the Miami Hurricanes. The Huskies are favored by 5.5 and the total is 149.5.  UConn has won each of their tournament games by an average of 22.5 points. The Hurricanes have won their tournament games by an average of 11 points. UConn is ranked in the top 15 on offense and on defense. The Hurricanes have a free-flowing offense with multiple threats.

The most impressive win for UConn was over Gonzaga Bulldogs by the score of 83-54 in the Elite Eight. Gonzaga was the most efficient offensive team in the nation. UConn dismantled the Bulldogs.

The Hurricanes most impressive win was over the University of Texas Longhorns in the Sweet 16 by the score of 88-81.


Final Analysis

UConn is an outstanding defensive team. They are shooting an astounding 44% from 3-point range. Adama Sanogo has been a force on the glass averaging 9.8 rebounds in addition to scoring 20 points per game.

The Hurricanes have Isiah Wong, the 2023 ACC Player of the Year and Jordan Miller, who shot flawlessly in the win over Texas in the Elite Eight. I don’t see Miller missing many shots from the field and the free throw line against the Huskies.

Still, UConn is too strong a team for the Hurricanes to handle. The Huskies will advance to the Championship game and the game goes Under.

If these games go as expected, UConn will win the National Championship over San Diego State.

Prediction: UConn -5.5 over Miami (-110 at Caesars)

Total: Under 149.5 (-110 at Caesars)

Watch: Saturday, 8:49 p.m. ET, CBS or FuboTV

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