No matter how good the Aztecs have looked (at times) in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, the team is facing a buzz saw in Arizona on Thursday. Forecasts like those at oddsshark.com say San Diego State’s chances of advancing in Anaheim are slim.
The NCAA West Regional semifinals pitting the fourth-seeded Aztecs and the top-seeded Wildcats will air at 7:17 p.m. on TBS.
But the betting lines universally favor the team from Tucson. As of Monday morning, the Cats were 6- or 6.5-point favorites to advance to the Elite Eight.
Said Mitch Wilson at Sports Chat Place:
San Diego State is 8-3 against the spread against the Pac-12, 5-2 against the spread following a win, and 6-2 against the spread in their last eight neutral site games. Arizona is 7-1 against the spread in their last eight NCAA Tournament games, 20-7 against the spread in their last 27 non-conference games, and 1-7 against the spread against the Mountain West Conference. The favorite has covered the point spread in five of the last seven meetings of these two.
In November, Arizona beat host San Diego State 79-70, “but the two teams are very different now than they were four months ago,” says Jeremy Mauss at mwcconnection.com.
Oddsshark says the Aztecs are 33-1 long shots to win the tournament.
Greg Price of International Business Times wrote:
Every four-seed made the Sweet 16, and three of them will face the No. 1. Enter the Aztecs, who survived an overtime four-point win over New Mexico State and sent upstart North Dakota State packing for the third Sweet 16 in school history. Arizona may have the best one-two punch left in the tournament in forward Aaron Gordon and guard Nick Johnson, with freshman Rondae Hollis-Jefferson a game changer off the bench.
Prediction: Arizona over San Diego State
But anything can happen in March Madness. After all, North Dakota State was a 3.5-point favorite to beat San Diego State, according to the Las Vegas Sun.