Alabama and San Diego State have both advanced to the Sweet 16 with ease, displaying strength and a commitment to their respective strategies. The two teams share similar approaches to the game, making it intriguing to see which team’s strengths will prevail. This will be the first-ever matchup between these two schools, and it promises to be a competitive game.
Alabama Crimson Tide (31-5)
As the nation’s number one seed, the Crimson Tide has convincingly defeated their opponents in the first two rounds. They beat Texas A&M-CC 96-75 and Maryland 73-51. Alabama, who is +400 to cut down the nets can win in several ways, as they rank fifth in the nation in scoring with 82.3 points per game, and fourth in defense with the second-best allowed FG%. They are also the nation’s best rebounding team, averaging 44.4 rebounds per game.
While Alabama’s leading scorer, Brandon Miller, has been recovering from a groin injury, other team members have stepped up. In their first win, five players scored double digits, and Nick Pringle contributed 19 points and 15 rebounds on 8/10 shooting. Meanwhile, Miller got back on track in their win over Maryland with 19 points, while Jahvon Quinerly poured in 22. If Miller returns to full strength, and role players continue to step up, the Crimson Tide has a strong chance of winning this game and going far in March.
The Aztecs have a well-rounded and deep squad that has performed well in the first two rounds of the tournament. Although some may argue that they have yet to face a formidable opponent, this does not detract from San Diego State’s ability to play quality basketball. Matt Bradley has led the team all year with 13.0 points per game on 41% shooting, and he has continued his strong play in the tournament, scoring 27 points over two games.
San Diego State boasts one of the best defenses in the country, allowing only 63.1 points per game (25th in the nation) and ranking 15th in defensive rating. While Alabama is an excellent three-point shooting team, the Aztecs are outstanding at defending the three, ranking sixth in the nation in opponent three-point FG%.
Alabama is the stronger team on both sides of the ball and they also have the best player on the court. They have looked dominant and there’s no reason to believe that won’t continue. We expect Alabama to win the game and cover the -6 point spread.