FAU vs. San Diego State 2023 March Madness Final Four Top Picks

Jaedon LeDee San Diego State Aztecs Creighton Bluejays
Jaedon LeDee #13 of the San Diego State Aztecs dunks the ball against the Creighton Bluejays during the Elite Eight round of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. Andy Lyons/Getty Images/AFP.

Picks Summary

NCAAB Pick: San Diego State -1.5 (-115) at BetMGM

NCAAB Pick: Under 132 (-110) at Caesars Sportsbook

The Final Four is upon us, and it is looking to be one of the wildest in the history of the NCAA Tournament. This has been the one tournament with more upsets than any other. For the first time ever, we saw none of the one-seeds reach the Elite Eight. We are down to four teams with a four-seed, two five-seeds, and a nine-seed.

Someone is going to make history at the end of this, but who will it be? The first game will take out one of the two bottom seeds in the tournament. San Diego State is on the run of a lifetime, and FAU is a rare team in the bottom half of seeding to reach the Final Four.

These two teams were not expected to reach the Final Four, but they are playing the best basketball at the right time of the year. They’re battle-tested, and one of these squads will make it to the championship game. So, who will it be?

FAU Owls vs. San Diego State Aztecs

Saturday, April 01, 2023 – 06:09 PM EDT at NRG Stadium

FAU’s Keys to Victory

The Owls have a better offense, but San Diego State proved that defense wins championships when they locked down Brandon Miller and the Alabama Crimson Tide last week. They won by being the aggressor on defense and packing the paint to avoid drives to the hoop.

If FAU wants to win this game, they need to attack the rim and win. This team likes to shoot threes, but they are one of the most efficient inside-scoring teams in the country. They can’t lose sight of that part of their game.

FAU is also one of the best rebounding teams in the NCAA Tournament. This game will be won in the paint because it is the most reliable facet of basketball. Perimeter shooting can get hot or cold, but a good rebounding team should always come to play.

San Diego State’s Keys to Victory

SDSU’s defense is why they are in this game to begin with. They’ve held three teams under 60 points in the NCAA Tournament, and the explosive Alabama offense only scored 64. That defense has to come to play against FAU’s shooters because the Aztecs aren’t built to win a shootout.

San Diego State averages 4 blocks a game, and most of these come when guards drive to the paint and try to score amongst the trees. If you bet on the Aztecs to win, root for a block party in the paint. Here are the block stats in the NCAA Tournament.

• 3 blocks vs. Creighton

• 8 blocks vs. Alabama

• 6 blocks vs. Furman

• 7 blocks vs. Charleston

That is a massive competitive advantage, and it’s one this team needs to exploit. Turn the blocks into transition buckets on the other end.

Also, San Diego State is great at limiting assists on defense. If FAU can’t win with isolation plays, they likely won’t win. The swarming defense of the Aztecs is going to play a pivotal role, so we’ll see if they can keep rolling.

Predictions and Picks

It’s worth noting that the Final Four is easily the largest platform these players have ever seen. It’s hard to know what will happen when they are in this position. They’ve been battle-tested to this point, but it’s a whole new level when you face off on this stage.

That being said, we think San Diego State’s style of play is more reliable. FAU can beat anyone when they are on fire, but we don’t see an average team scoring on San Diego State. It’ll take FAU’s best, and we are worried about that coming from an underdog in the Final Four.

SDSU has the most impressive win out of the Final Four teams by beating Alabama and stopping Brandon Miller. They were able to grind out a tough win against Creighton two days later. Let’s take the Aztecs to reach the championship game for our NCAAB picks.

Also, give us the under. If the Aztecs win, it will be because of defense.