Aztecs vs Alabama in March Madness: Odds, Analysis and Trends for Sweet 16

San Diego State vs Alabama in March Madness: Odds, Analysis and Trends for Sweet 16

The No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament hasn’t won it all since Louisville in 2013. Ironically, current No. 1 overall seed Alabama plays in Louisville on Friday in Sweet 16 action against No. 5 San Diego State with the Tide as solid favorites on the NCAAB odds.


Sweet 16: No. 5 San Diego State vs. No. 1 Alabama | 2023 NCAA Tournament Expert Analysis


How to Bet San Diego State vs. Alabama NCAA Basketball Odds & TV Info

When: Friday, 6:30 PM ET
Where: KFC Yum! Center, Louisville
Opening NCAAB Lines: Alabama -7.5 (total 137)
Last Meeting: The schools have never played. San Diego State played one SEC team like Alabama this year, losing 78-74 at a neutral site to Arkansas (also in the Sweet 16) on Nov. 23. The Tide were 2-0 vs. the Razorbacks. Bama didn’t play any Mountain West schools this year.


Why Bet on San Diego State?

Mountain West champion San Diego State (29-6) advanced with a 75-52 rout of No. 13 Furman last Saturday. The Aztecs held Furman to 32% shooting, including 23% from the three-point line, and Micah Parrish led four players in double figures with 16 points for SDSU. It managed a 41-24 rebounding edge and outscored the Paladins 40-16 in the paint.

The Aztecs also registered 18 second-chance points on 10 offensive rebounds. They held Furman to a season-low 32% shooting and 52 points. Furman finished 14-of-18 at the foul line, marking the first time in 21 games this season that the Paladins outscored their opponent at the line but failed to win.

Darrion Trammell added 13 points, Lamont Butler had 12 and leading scorer Matt Bradley finished with 10 for San Diego State, which is heading to its first Sweet 16 since 2004. The Aztecs enter having won 12 of its last 13 (12-1) and 16 of its last 18 (16-2), with its two losses coming on the road at Nevada (14-2 at home) and at Boise State (14-1 at home), both which earned NCAA Tournament bids.

The Aztecs shot 46.5 percent (53-of-114) in their first two games of the Dance and held their opponents to 32.1 percent (34-of-106) from the field. SDSU limited Charleston and Furman to just 22.0 percent (11-of-50) from the long range.

“You should play your best at the end of the season, and we’re playing our best basketball as the end of the season,” coach Brian Dutcher said. “Obviously we hang our hat on defense. That’s the one thing that we do every game,” Dutcher added. “Then when we get the opportunity, we start making shots and play good offensively, then we’re very good.”

San Diego State is the first Mountain West Conference team to reach the Sweet 16 since Nevada in 2018. It’ll be the third regional semifinal appearance for the Aztecs and the seventh for the Mountain West overall.

SDSU has played against half of the current members of the Southeast Conference (7-of-14) and has a 3-10 record against SEC teams. Most recently, the Aztecs lost in overtime to Arkansas, 74-78, at the 2022 Maui Jim Maui Invitational as noted above. In its history, SDSU has played four games against the top ranked team in the country like Alabama, but has yet to break through with a victory.

Of the programs to reach the Sweet 16, San Diego State has traveled 4,482.7 miles (first and second Round & the Sweet 16), which is nearly 1,000 miles further than any other program to reach this point in the event (Princeton is second at 3,520.2 miles). Alabama will have traveled the shortest distance going only 475.6 miles to and from its first and second round games in Birmingham and now to Louisville.


Why Bet on Alabama?

The top-seeded Tide (31-5) haven’t been challenged yet in a 96-75 win over Texas A&M Corpus Christi in Round 1 and 73-51 over No. 8 Maryland in the Round of 32.

The Terrapins actually led for much of the first half and their defense stifled the high-scoring Crimson Tide (82.6 ppg entering the game), limiting them to just 28 first-half points and 38.5 percent shooting from the floor in the first 20 minutes. Alabama committed 11 turnovers and shot 38.2 percent from the floor for the game. Alabama then used a hot start to the second half and went on to outscore Maryland by 17 points, 45-28, to result in the final score.

The Tide were led by Jahvon Quinerly’s 22 points on 9-of-14 shooting from the field and 4-of-6 from beyond the arc. Brandon Miller collected 19 points and seven boards while Charles Bediako added 10 points and 10 rebounds in the win. Since the start of the SEC Tournament (5 games), Bediako is averaging 10.4 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 1.0 apg and 3.4 bpg.

The 22-point victory matched the Tide’s second-largest NCAA Tournament win in program history. Coach Nate Oats also improved to 4-2 (.667) in six NCAA Tournament appearances at Alabama, including a pair of Sweet 16 showings.

Alabama is looking to advance to its second Elite Eight appearance with a victory. The only other occurrence came in 2004 the then-No. 8 seed Crimson Tide, with the help of current assistant coach and then guard Antoine Pettway, defeated No. 9 Southern Illinois, No. 1 Stanford and No. 5 Syracuse before falling to eventual national champion and second-seeded UConn in the regional final.

Bama has won a school-record 31 games and its newcomers have scored 2,243 of UA’s 2,963 points (75.7%) this season. That group is led by Miller, who became the first freshman in SEC history to win SEC Player of the Year, Freshman of the Year and Tournament MVP in the same season. Miller leads all freshmen in Division I in points per game (19.1).

Alabama is one of the fastest teams in the country, ranking fifth nationally with nearly 73 possessions per game. San Diego State is at the opposite end, ranking No. 263 with fewer than 66 possessions per game.


Game Trends

  • Aztecs are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games overall.
  • Aztecs are 12-3-2 ATS in their last 17 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
  • Aztecs are 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS win.
  • Crimson Tide are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
  • Crimson Tide are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games.
  • Crimson Tide are 20-8 ATS in their last 28 Friday games.

Expert Prediction

Alabama 73, San Diego State 68


Alabama vs. Maryland – Second Round NCAA tournament


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