On Saturday, the Cal State Fullerton Titans (20-12) will face off against the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos (26-7) in the Big West Championship game. CSF has won eight in a row, including an upset 83-80 win over UC Irvine in the semifinals. A win on Saturday would punch the Titans’ ticket to March Madness for the third time in six years. Meanwhile, like Fullerton, UC Santa Barbara played a close game in the semis, beating Riverside, 92-87. They have won six in a row heading into the title game and split the season series over Fullerton in the regular season.
Cal State Fullerton vs. UC Santa Barbara Betting Odds
Odds are courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook
Cal State Fullerton vs. UC Santa Barbara Match Details
Fixture: CSF Titans vs. UCSB Gauchos (Neutral)
Date and Time: Saturday, March 11, 2023, at 8:30 p.m. ET
Venue: Dollar Loan Center
ShotQuality Tale of the Tape
Below, we will highlight essential ShotQuality data for this matchup, including Adjusted Offensive and Defensive SQ, strengths, weaknesses, and frequency. SQppp is a player’s average ShotQuality points per possession.
Thus, SQppp = Total SQpoints/Total No. of Possessions.
The Cal St. Fullerton Titans have a 1.04 AdjOFF SQ this season, suitable for 141st in the nation. UC Santa Barbara has the 78th-best AdjDEF SQ at 0.98. Fullerton does poorly or average in all key stats but shot selection, where they are in the 61st percentile. They are also 29th in the free throw rate (FTR). Conversely, the Gauchos are in the 6th percentile in defensive shot selection and 107th in the nation in defensive FTR. Additionally, UCSB is in the 8th percentile in defensive spacing while the Titans’ offense is 323rd in that key stats offensive counterpart.
The Titans own high-frequency numbers in finishing at the rim, half-court, and isolation shot types. However, they are outside the top 150 in SQ PPP in those high-frequency shot types. Conversely, the Gauchos are just inside the top 35 in defending all those categories.
The Gauchos have a 1.00 AdjOFF SQ, the 214th-best mark in the country. CSF has posted a 1.00 AdjDEF SQ this season, clocking in at 122nd in the country. The Gauchos are in the top 100 in FTR and rim & three SQ PPP. The Titans’ defense is 216th in defensive FTR but 143rd in defensive rim & three SQ PPP. The UCSB offense will have a significant advantage in shot-making, but the Titans’ defense will have the edge in spacing.
UCSB is in the country’s top half in frequency regarding the following shot types: cut, finishing at the rim, isolation, midrange, off-screen, P&R ball screen, post-up, and transition. However, the balanced Gauchos’ offense has been hit or miss in most shot types. For example, they are in the top 150 in P&R, post-up, and transition shots but have struggled to score off cuts, isolation sets, and near the rim. UCSB will have a clear advantage in the shots they are good at, but the Titans defend the Gauchos’ low-efficiency shots well.
Cal State Fullerton vs. UC Santa Barbara Prediction
I picked the Gauchos to win the Big West Tournament and represent the conference in March Madness. ShotQuality views this as a 10-point win for UCSB, and although that may be a little too much confidence in a team that has had issues on offense, they dropped 92 on Riverside and have the deeper roster and better players. Back SQ and grab the Gauchos giving the points as I see them edging out the Titans on Saturday.