Your San Diego State Aztecs (8th seed) will be playing the Duke Blue Devils (1st seed) this Sunday at 11:40 am in the third round of the NCAA Tournament. The game will be played in Charlotte, N.C., on Sunday, March 22nd on CBS. CBS Sports writer Matt Norlander has come out with his top 68 teams competing in the NCAA Tournament San Diego State came in 27th place and Duke came in 2nd place. Here are some stats that we found while researching this game preview. In the 36 NCAA Tournaments since seedlings began in 1985, a total of 14 8 seeds have made it to the Sweet 16. Six have reached the Final Four, including Kentucky last year. One No. 8 has won it all (Villanova in 1985).
***Duke and #DSU last played on Dec. 29, 2001 in Durham. The BlueDevils won that game 92-79 over the Aztecs.***
The Aztecs are still trying to improve with shooting from the floor and behind the arc.The Aztecs are shooting 41.9% from the floor and 32.0% from behind the arc. The Aztecs need major improvement in the free throw game but have improved their free throw shooting average to 65.3%.The Aztecs have also been working harder this season on offensive and defensive rebounds. The Aztecs have out rebounded teams this year 1197 to 1087. The Aztecs have been bringing massive press on opponents this season thanks to a very deep bench. This has allowed the Aztecs to use the full court press for a majority of every game.
The Blue Devils are still trying to improve with shooting from the floor and behind the arc.The Blue Devils are shooting 50% from the floor and 39% from behind the arc. The Blue Devils need major improvement in the free throw game but have improved their free throw shooting average to 69.5%. The Blue Devils have out rebounded teams this year 1198 to 1000.
The major difference offensively between the Blue Devils and the Aztecs would be shooting percentage from the floor, arc and free throw line. The Blue Devils are hands and feet better than San Diego State in every offensive category. The Blue Devils shoot 9% better from the floor, 7% better from behind the arc, 4% better from the freethrow line and
In my opinion rebounding will determine if the Aztecs can take down Duke. The Aztecs need to kill it on the offensive and defensive boards to help get the easy put backs. The Aztecs have a slight size advantage over Duke and they will need to exploit that.
The San Diego State Aztecs have one of the best field goal defenses in the nation! Aztecs opponents have been averaging a field goal percentage of just 37.7% (5th best in the NCAA) and 30.3% (20th best in the NCAA) from beyond the arc. The Aztecs have held opponents to an average of 53.1 points per game this season. The only team in the nation that has a better scoring defense average is Virginia who allowed an average of 50.7 points per game.
Duke’s opponent’s have been averaging a field goal percentage of just 42.9% (173rd best in the NCAA) and 32% (62nd best in the NCAA) from beyond the arc. The Blue Devils have held opponents to an average of 65.6 points per game this season. That 65.6 points average per game ranks Duke as the 144th best scoring defense in the nation.
As you can tell by the statistics given above San Diego State is in another league defensively compared to Duke.
ODDS: Duke – 10
Keys for Victory:
San Diego State University:
1) Shoot more than 45% from the floor!
2) Point’s in the paint!
2) Only shoot 3-point shots that are open!
3) Limit turnovers!
4) Attack the boards !
5) Make free throws
1) Force SDSU to shoot from the perimeter.
2) Force SDSU to commit turnovers.
3) Win the defensive battle of the boards.
4) Try and get SDSU to foul out.
5) Make free throws.
Players to watch for San Diego State:
Winston Shepard (6-8 and 210 pound Junior): Shepard is currently tied for the team lead in points per game averaging 11.1 points, currently leads the Aztecs in rebounds per game with 5.3 and is second in assists per game with 1.9.
Aqeel Quinn (6-3 and 200 pound Senior): Quinn is currently tied for the team lead in points per game averaging 11.1 points, has 2.8 rebounds per game and is in fourth place on the Aztecs in assists per game with 1.5.
JJ O’Brien (6-7 and 215 pound Senior): O’Brien is currently in third place on the Aztecs in points per game averaging 10.1 points, currently the second best rebounder on the Aztecs with 5.2 rebounds per game and leads the Aztecs in assists per game with 2.5.
Skylar Spencer (6-10 and 240 pound Junior): Spencer is currently in ninth place on the Aztecs in points per game averaging 3.6 points, currently the third best rebounder on the Aztecs with 5.1 rebounds per game and leads the Aztecs in blocked shots per game with 2.5. Spencer was named the Mountain West Defensive POY in 2015.
San Diego State Losses:
NCAA Tournament Bound Teams
Boise State X2 (1st Round)
Arizona (2nd seed in the West)
Cincinnati (8th seed in the MidWest)
Wyoming (12th seed in the East)
Not playing in the postseason:
Players to watch for Duke:
Jahlil Okafor (6-11 and 270 pound Freshman): Okafor is currently leading the Blue Devils in points per game averaging 17.7 points, leading Duke with 9 rebounds per game and leads the team in blocks with 2.6 per game.
Quinn Cook (6-2 and 185 pound Senior): Cook is currently in second place in points per game averaging 15.7, and is second in assists per game with 2.7.
Justise Winslow (6-6 and 225 pound Freshman): Winslow is currently in third place in points per game averaging 12.3 points and is third in rebounds per game with 5.9.
Tyus Jones (6-1 and 190 pound Freshman): Jones is currently in fourth place in points per game averaging 11.6 points, currently leads the Blue Devils in steals per game with 1.5 and is second in assists per game with 5.8.
NCAA Tournament Bound Teams
NC State (8th seed in the EAST)
Notre Dame X2 (3rd seed MID WEST)
NIT (National Invitation Tournament):
San Diego State and Duke Rosters
|Winston Shepard||6-8||SDSU||Quinn Cook||6-2||DUKE|
|Matt Shrigley||6-5||SDSU||Grayson Allen||6-4||DUKE|
|Skylar Spencer||6-9||SDSU||Tyus Jones||6-1||DUKE|
|JJ O’Brien||6-7||SDSU||Justise Winslow||6-6||DUKE|
|Dwayne Polee II||6-7||SDSU||Matt Jones||6-5||DUKE|
|Kevin Zabo||6-2||SDSU||Jahlil Okafor||6-11||DUKE|
|Angelo Chol||6-9||SDSU||Amile Jefferson||6-9||DUKE|
|Dakarai Allen||6-5||SDSU||Sean Obi||6-9||DUKE|
|Aqeel Quinn||6-3||SDSU||Marshall Plumlee||7-0||DUKE|
|D’Erryl Williams||6-2||SDSU||Sean Kelly||6-3||DUKE|
|Trey Kell||6-4||SDSU||Nick Pagliuca||6-3||DUKE|
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