The San Diego State Aztecs (32-6) and the Connecticut Huskies (30-8) will face off in the National Championship on Monday night. San Diego State used heroics to win their Final Four game, with Lamont Butler hitting a baseline midrange jumper as time expired to beat the Florida Atlantic Owls 72-71. They trailed by as much as 14 points in the 2nd half, but Matt Bradley and company clawed back largely thanks to offensive rebounds. The Aztecs entered March Madness as a five-seed but have defied the odds in their title run, beating 31-win Charleston, Cinderella Furman, top-seeded Alabama, Big-East power Creighton, and 35-win FAU to get to Monday’s finale. UConn has dominated its competition to get to this point, including a drumming of Miami in the Final Four.
San Diego State vs. UConn: Betting Odds
|San Diego State Aztecs||+7.5||o132.5||+285|
Odds are courtesy of BetMGM Sportsbook
Fixture: San Diego State Aztecs vs. Connecticut Huskies (Neutral)
Date and Time: Monday, April 3, 2023, 9:20 p.m. ET
Venue: NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas
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 San Diego State Aztecs own a 1.14 AdjOFF SQ this season, good for 38th in the nation. UConn has the 17th-best AdjDEF SQ at 0.93. SDSU does well in all key stats, but the open three rate and the rim & three metrics are outside the top 340. Conversely, the Huskies are in the 50 in both those defensive categories. However, the Aztecs’ offense will have a sizable edge in free throw rate (FTR).
The Aztecs own high-frequency numbers in isolation, off-screen, midrange, P&R ball screen, post-up and transition shot types. They are ranked 145-192 in SQ PPP in those high-frequency shot types. Conversely, the Huskies have been excellent in defending all those shot types except midrange, with a 0.79 SQ PPP (304th in the nation).
The Huskies have a 1.19 AdjOFF SQ, the 4th-best mark in the country. SDSU has posted a 0.95 AdjDEF SQ this season, clocking in at 38th in the country. The Huskies are in the top 35 in shot selection and spacing. The Aztecs are in the 37th percentile in defensive shot selection but the 81st percentile (306th in the nation) in defensive spacing. SDSU should be able to run UConn off the three-point line as long as it’s off-the-dribble or in the open court.
UConn is in the country’s top half in frequency regarding the following shot types: catch-and-shoot three, cut, off-screen, P&R ball screen, post-up, and transition. SDSU is terrific at defending the perimeter and transition but may need help to defend the pick & roll.
San Diego State vs. UConn: Prediction
The ShotQuality model is up 139 units headed into Monday’s season finale. I appreciate the model and the tools that come with it. That being said, it favors the Aztecs with the points tonight, and I would be a fool not to ride with the model one last time.