UConn (30-8 straight up, 26-11-1 against the spread) enters tonight’s finals of the 2023 NCAA Tournament vs. San Diego St. on a serious roll. The Huskies have won five straight games both SU and ATS, beating their NCAA Tournament foes by margins of 13, 28, 23, 15 and 24 points.
Dan Hurley’s team has scored 72, 82, 88, 70 and 87 points in its five NCAA Tournament games. UConn has scored at least 70 points in 30 of its 38 games this season.
Now, are the Huskies facing an elite defensive team tonight? Absolutely. The Aztecs have held 26 of their 38 opponents to 69 points or fewer.
However, nine of San Diego St.’s 18 foes that were ranked in KenPom’s Top 80 scored 70 points or more on the Aztecs. They’re ranked fourth nationally at K-Pom in defensive efficiency.
Arizona scored 87 points on San Diego St., BYU scored 75, Ohio St. had 77, Utah St. and Nevada both produced 75 in one of their games against the Aztecs and New Mexico scored 76 and 71 points in their two head-to-head matchups with Brian Dutcher’s club.
UConn is ranked third in the country at K-Pom in offensive efficiency. The Huskies have faced plenty of elite defenses, too.
They scored 82 against Alabama and the Crimson Tide finished third nationally in defensive efficiency. UConn put up 88 in its Sweet 16 clash vs. Arkansas and its 17th-ranked defense. The Huskies scored 71 vs. Iowa St. (finished seventh at K-Pom in defensive efficiency), 74 vs. Oklahoma St. (#12) and 70 vs. Saint Mary’s (#10).
I’ll also be on UConn -4 in the first half tonight and like its Team Total ‘over’ 32.5 points in the first half. The Huskies have scored 37, 31, 46, 39 and 37 points in the first half of their five NCAA Tournament games. They only failed to get to 33 in their second-round win over Saint Mary’s.
For money-management purposes, I’m going with three units on UConn’s Team Total ‘over’ 69.5, two units on UConn -4 in the first half and one unit on UConn’s Team Total ‘over’ 32.5 in the first half.
I lean UConn 7.5 for the game, but I’ve got multiple future bets on the Huskies. Therefore, I’m going to profit if Dan Hurley’s team wins outright. If anything, I should probably be hedging by backing San Diego St. plus the points. However, I’m not going to do that pregame. I might consider it with an in-game play depending on how the game is going.
On that note, if San Diego St. gets out to a lead in the first half and bettors get the option of taking the Huskies at -4 or less, I think that’ll be a solid move.
Whether you tail or fade, best of luck to all and I hope everyone enjoys tonight’s game.