Usually the most popular first-round upset pick in the NCAA Tournament is a No. 5 over a No. 12 as at least one No. 12 seed has defeated a No. 5 in 32 of the past 37 tournaments. It definitely could happen again Thursday when No. 12 Charleston faces No. 5 San Diego State in South Region action. Let’s get to the action by checking out the college basketball betting odds for this awesome game.
No. 12 College of Charleston vs. No. 5 San Diego St. | 2023 NCAA Tournament Expert Analysis
How to Bet Charleston vs. San Diego State NCAA Basketball Odds & TV Info
When: Thursday, 3:10 PM ET
Where: Legacy Arena at BJCC, Birmingham, Ala.
Opening NCAAB Lines: SDSU -5 (total 141.5)
Why Bet on Charleston?
Charleston (31-3) tied for the CAA regular-season title with Hofstra – which upset Rutgers in the first round of the NIT on Tuesday – and then beat UNC Wilmington 63-58 in the conference tournament title game. Tournament MVP Ryan Larson sparked a late 12-0 run and finished with a game-high 23 points.
Ante Brzovic made 6-of-10 field goal attempts and scored 16 points (12 after halftime) to go along with a team-high eight rebounds, three assists and two blocks. After shooting just 34 percent from the field in the first half, the Cougars improved their accuracy to 47.8 percent over the final 20 minutes. Charleston also forced 17 turnovers including 10 steals.
Charleston shot 25% from beyond the arc over the course of its three CAA tournament wins. The good news is the Cougars are so solid they captured the automatic bid despite their poor shooting on the perimeter. The bad news is the field of 68 won’t be as forgiving.
The Cougars shoot a lot of 3s, more than 47% of their field goal attempts. That’s more than almost every team in America. The Cougars have made just 33% of those attempts. They can let them fly because, led by Dalton Bolon (12.3 PPG) and Brzovic (11.6 PPG, 5.9 RPG), they play fast (top-30 tempo) and boast a top-40 offensive rebounding rate.
Bolon and Larson were named finalists for the 2022-23 Lou Henson National Player of the Year award, which goes to the nation’s top mid-major team. In his first full year in the league, Bolon led the Cougars in points per game (12.7) for a spot on the All-CAA first team. Larson, an All-CAA third-team selection, ranked fifth in the CAA with 4.2 assists per game and third in assist to turnover while starting every game for the Cougars this season. He previously had a four-year career at Wofford.
Charleston is a deep team with nine Cougars averaging 15.4 minutes or more per contest and eight different players have led the team in scoring in a game. Charleston ranks fourth in the nation in bench points (32.53) and fourth in offensive rebounds/game (13.65). It has not lost a game in which they trail at the half all season (6-0).
The Cougars are in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since winning the CAA title in 2018. They also qualified in 1994, 1997, 1998 and 1999. The 31 wins are the most in The College’s Division I era and tied with the 1986-87 team for the second most overall.
Pat Kelsey, in just his second year of leading the program, was named to the Naismith Men’s College Coach of the Year late season watch list.
Why Bet on San Diego State?
San Diego State (27-6) won the Mountain West regular-season title and then beat fellow NCAA Tournament team Utah State 62-57 in the conference tournament title game. Matt Bradley scored 16 points and Jaedon LeDee added 13. The Aztecs claimed their seventh tournament title, and second in three years. This also was their conference-record 15th appearance in the title game.
Last season, Bradley made 40% of his 3-point attempts, continuing the veteran’s standing as one of America’s best shooters. He had a cold start to this season, connecting on just 26% (12-for-45) from 3 during non-conference action. In Mountain West action, he hit his stride again, shooting 43% from 3.
Brian Dutcher’s squad once again sported one of the nation’s most efficient defenses, led by Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year Nathan Mensah. A late-season stumble at Boise State derailed SDSU’s six-game win streak and magnified a problem. Going back to last season’s tourney loss to Creighton, the Aztecs have struggled to maintain leads when it matters most. They have one of the deepest and most experienced rosters in the field but sometimes they wilt in pressure situations.
This is SDSU’s 18th overall NCAA Tournament appearance, 15th at the Division I level, 10th in the last 14 years, and fourth in the six seasons since Dutcher took over the reins of the program (the Aztecs were 30-2 in 2019-20 but the NCAA Tournament was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic).
The Aztecs rarely venture to the Eastern time zone and rarely win when they get there. They’re 6-20 in the Division I era and have lost four straight by 14, 16, 19 and 19 points. SDSU is ranked 10th nationally in defensive efficiency according to Kenpom. Charleston hasn’t faced anyone with a defense rated better than 97th since November.
One other quirk of SDSU’s tournament history: It is 6-14 all-time, but all six wins have come against worse seeds. Against better seeds or higher ranked opponents (there were no traditional seedings before the 1980s), the Aztecs are 0-9.
The Aztecs and Cougars have met once before with SDSU winning, 72-52, in the opening game of the Wooden Legacy on Nov. 28, 2013 in Fullerton, California.
- Cougars are 13-3-1 ATS in their last 17 games following a ATS loss.
- Cougars are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games overall.
- Cougars are 2-6-1 ATS in their last 9 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Aztecs are 11-4-1 ATS in their last 16 games overall.
- Aztecs are 5-1-1 ATS in their last 7 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
San Diego State 75, Charleston 67
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