A wildly unpredictable NCAA Tournament is down to its final two teams, with Connecticut slated to face San Diego State for the national championship on Monday (9:20 p.m. ET, CBS) at NRG Stadium in Houston.
UConn opened as a 6-point favorite over the Aztecs, and the line has since risen to -7.5. The total dropped from 131 to 130.5 for a brief instant before popping back up to 131, with some books offering 131.5. The Huskies are -360 to win outright, with San Diego State getting plus odds at+285.
Let’s dive deeper into the Connecticut vs San Diego State odds. (NOTE: Odds change and most likely will change several times leading up to tipoff.)
Connecticut blitzed No. 5 seed Miami 72-59 to reach the national championship game for the fifth time in program history. The No. 4 seed Huskies — 5.5-point favorites — scored the game’s first nine points and never trailed. It was their fifth straight double-digit win in the tournament.
Forward Adama Sanogo posted his second straight double-double with a game-high 21 points and 10 rebounds. Jordan Hawkins, despite being on the NCAAB injury report with a stomach illness, finished with 13 points and Alex Karaban added eight points and nine rebounds. Miami, one of the country’s top 25 offenses, shot only 32.3% from the field and was held to a season-low in points.
UConn, 11-1 since Feb. 18 and 30-8 overall, now sits a win away from its first national championship since 2014 and fifth all-time. Not bad for a team that was a+2000 pick to begin the tournament.
Guard Lamont Butler sank a jump shot at the buzzer, lifting No. 5 seed San Diego State into its first NCAA title game with a 72-71 victory over No. 9 seed Florida Atlantic. The Aztecs — a slight 2-point favorite — trailed by as many as 14 points early in the second half before rallying to stun the Owls, who were attempting to become the lowest seed to ever reach the final.
Matt Bradley led the Aztecs with 21 points, while Jaedon LeDee scored 12 off the bench. The 71 points were the most allowed this tournament by the Aztecs, who came into the game ranked 24th in the country in scoring defense. FAU shot 40.9% from 3-point range, 13% higher on average than the Aztecs’ previous opponents.
The Mountain West champions — who hadn’t been past the Sweet 16 before this NCAAB season — are now 32-6 under coach Brian Dutcher and on the doorstep of the school’s first national championship. They are the first mid-major program to advance to the final since Butler in 2011 out of the Horizon League.
Handicapping The Game
UConn is on a historically dominant run. The Huskies — who haven’t trailed since early in the second half of their Round of 32 win over St. Mary’s — are just the sixth team to reach the final by winning every tournament game by double digits, following 2000 Michigan State, 2001 Duke, 2009 and 2016 North Carolina and 2018 Villanova. Each went on to win the title except the 2016 Tar Heels, who lost to Villanova.
The Huskies are led by the 6-foot-9 Sanogo, who is averaging 20.2 points and 9.8 rebounds in the tournament. The Huskies are 20-0 over the last two seasons when Sanogo scores at least 20 points. With help off the bench from 7-2 freshman Donovan Clingan, the Huskies rank second in the country in rebounding margin and 20th in both blocks per game and opponents’ field goal percentage.
San Diego State is fourth nationally in KenPom’s adjusted defensive efficiency rating, fueling its tournament run. The Aztecs held top overall seed Alabama, one of the favorites to win the tournament, to 32.4% shooting in the Sweet 16. It’s made up for an offense that’s merely middle of the pack. The Aztecs average just 71.5 points per game, 7.3 fewer than UConn, and have only one NCAAB player (Bradley) scoring in double figures.
San Diego State is clutch. It’s won six straight games when trailing at halftime, including the Elite Eight against Creighton and Final Four against FAU. But the Aztecs will need to be more than that against UConn.
Regarding Connecticut vs San Diego State odds, the Huskies are 5-0 against the spread during the tournament and 10-1 over their last 11 contests. This is their largest spread since they were favored by 9.5 in the first round against No. 13 seed Iona. They are also 26-7 as the moneyline favorite this season. Meanwhile, San Diego State is 19-16-2 ATS after failing to cover in its Final Four win.Follow us on Twitter
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