Your San Diego State Aztecs (11th seed) will be playing the Houston Cougars (6th seed) this Thursday in the 1st round of the NCAA Tournament. The game will be played in Wichita, Kansas., on Thursday, March 15th and tip-off is set for 4:20 p.m. PST on TBS. CBS Sports writer Kyle Boone has come out with his top 68 teams competing in the NCAA Tournament San Diego State came in 45th place and Houston came in 23rd place. Here are some stats that we found while researching this game preview. Number 11 seeds are 6-2 straight up against Number 6 seeds in the last two tournaments. Only once have all 11 seeds beaten every 6 seed. That was back in 1989.
The Aztecs are still trying to improve with shooting from the floor and behind the arc. The Aztecs are shooting 46.1% from the floor and 33.9% from behind the arc. The Aztecs have improved their free throw shooting average to 72.1%. The Aztecs have also been working harder this season on offensive and defensive rebounds. The Aztecs have out rebounded teams this year 1206 to 1038. Believe it or not this is a good offensive basketball team. Much better than the last Aztec team to play in the tournament. That team would beat Saint Johns and would fall to Duke in the third round.
The Cougars are shooting 46.6% from the floor and 38.7% from behind the arc. The Cougars free throw shooting average is 71.7%. The Cougars have out rebounded by teams this year 1273 to 1044. The major difference offensively between the Cougars and the Aztecs would be shooting percentage from the floor, arc and free throw line. The stats are in favor of the Houston Cougars. The Aztecs need to kill it on the offensive boards and get the easy put backs. The Aztecs have a slight size advantage over Houston and they will need to exploit that.
The San Diego State Aztecs have one of the opponent’s have been averaging a field goal percentage of just 41.8% (56th best in the NCAA) and 32.6% (46th best in the NCAA) from beyond the arc. The Aztecs have held opponents to an average of 67.9 points per game this season and that ranks the Aztecs 62nd in the nation.
Houston’s opponent’s have been averaging a field goal percentage of just 36.9% (9th best in the NCAA) and 32.7% (53rd best in the NCAA) from beyond the arc. The Cougars have held opponents to an average of 64.9 points per game this season. That 64.9 points average per game ranks Houston as the 22nd best scoring defense in the nation.
CBS College Basketball Insider Gary Parrish: Houston over SDSU
CBS College Basketball Writer Matt Norlander: Houston over SDSU
CBS College Basketball Bracketologist Jerry Palm: Houston over SDSU
CBS College Basketball Writer Kyle Boone: SDSU over Houston
CBS College Basketball Writer Reid Forgrave: Houston over SDSU
CBS Senior Writer Dennis Dodd: Houston over SDSU
CBS Senior Writer Chip Patterson: Houston over SDSU
CBS Senior Writer Josh Nagel: SDSU over Houston
CBS College Basketball BRACKETS (LINK)
ODDS Houston by 3.5
Keys for Victory:
San Diego State University:
1) Shoot more than 45% from the floor!
2) Points in the paint!
2) Only shoot 3-point shot’s 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:
Malik Pope (6-10 and 220 pound Senior): Pope is currently leading the Aztecs in points per game averaging 12.9 points, is second in rebounds per game with 6.6 and leads the team with 34 blocked shots.
Devin Watson (6-1 and 172 pound Junior): Watson is second in points per game averaging 12.3 points, has 2.6 rebounds per game and leads the Aztecs in assists per game with 3.8.
Matt Mitchell (6-6 and 230 pound Freshman): Mitchell is currently in third place on the Aztecs in points per game averaging 10.7 points, currently tied for third best rebounded on the Aztecs with 4.0 rebounds per game and is 1st in steals averaging about 1 per game.
Trey Kell (6-4 and 216 pound Senior): Kell is currently in fourth place on the Aztecs in points per game averaging 10.4 points and currently tied for third best rebounder on the Aztecs with 4.0 rebounds per game. Kell was recently named Mountain West Tournament MVP.
Jalen McDaniels (6-10 and 195 pound RS Freshman): McDaniels is currently in fifth place on the Aztecs in points per game averaging 10.2 points, currently leads the Aztecs with 7.5 rebounds per game.
San Diego State Losses:
NCAA Tournament Bound Teams
Not playing in the postseason:
Fresno State x 2
Players to watch for Houston:
Rob Gray (6-1 and 185 pound RS Senior): Gray is currently leading the Cougars in points per game averaging 18.5 points and leads the Cougars in assists per game with 4.4.
Corey Davis Jr. (6-1 and 190 pound Junior): Davis Jr. is currently in second place in points per game averaging 13.5.
Devin Davis (6-6 and 225 pound Freshman): Davis is currently in third place in points per game averaging 10.58 points and currently leads the Cougars in rebounds per game with 6.2.
NCAA Tournament Bound Teams
Not playing in the postseason:
San Diego State and Houston Rosters
|Devin Watson||6-1||SDSU||Chris Harris Jr.||6-10||UH|
|Adam Seiko||6-3||SDSU||Mike Adewunmi||6-4||UH|
|Trey Kell||6-4||SDSU||Armoni Brooks||6-3||UH|
|Michael Sohikish||5-9||SDSU||Corey Davis Jr.||6-1||UH|
|Jalen McDaniels||6-10||SDSU||Wes VanBeck||6-3||UH|
|Max Montana||6-9||SDSU||Nura Zanna||6-6||UH|
|Matt Mitchell||6-6||SDSU||Devin Davis||6-6||UH|
|Patrick Fisher||6-4||SDSU||Gabe Grant||6-4||UH|
|Jordan Schakel||6-6||SDSU||Cedrick Alley Jr.||6-5||UH|
|Malik Pope||6-10||SDSU||Breaon Brady||6-8||UH|
|Nolan Narain||6-10||SDSU||Galen Robinson Jr.||6-1||UH|
|Jeremy Hemsley||6-3||SDSU||Caleb Broodo||6-7||UH|
|Kameron Rooks||7-1||SDSU||Valentine Sagoyomi||6-8||UH|
|Fabian White Jr.||6-7||UH|
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