A historic Final Four is set for Saturday in Houston with the Florida Atlantic Owls taking on the San Diego State Aztecs while the Miami Hurricanes face the Connecticut Huskies. Let's look at Final Four Odds and Final Four Picks.
A historic Final Four is set for Saturday in Houston with four teams very few people predicted playing for the title. The first matchup on Saturday has a No. 9 seed, the Florida Atlantic Owls taking on a No. 5 seed in the San Diego State Aztecs. The late game has the No. 5 seed Miami Hurricanes taking on the No. 4 seed Connecticut Huskies. Oddsmakers have the Aztecs a slight favorite over the Owls and the Huskies favored against the Hurricanes. It is expected to be a low scoring game between Florida Atlantic and San Diego State while we could see a shootout between Miami and Connecticut. I went 3-1 with my Sweet Sixteen picks, so let’s look to keep it going on Saturday. Let’s look at Final Four odds and Final Four picks.
Final Four Preview
Florida Atlantic vs. San Diego State -2 (131.5) 6:09 pm Eastern (CBS)
The first game between Florida Atlantic and San Diego State likely will come down to one thing. If the Owls hit their three-point shots they are going to win; if not, they are going to lose. They hit a decent percentage, hitting 39.1 percent against Kansas State. The Owls made at least 10 triples in 18 of their first 30 games this season. What will also help Florida Atlantic is controlling the boards. Johnell Davis and Nick Boyd are guards who can rebound and they will need to do so against the Aztecs. FAU plays much better defense than they are given credit for. They dare teams to try and drive and go to the rim and for the most part it works.
On the other side, we know how San Diego State is going to win and that is with defense. Their have played excellent 3-point defense in the tourney and they will need to do so again against FAU to win this game. It would also help their cause if they could get something out of leading scorer Matt Bradley who is 3-of-17 in the last two games.
Final Four Pick
Can you see either of these teams getting to 65 points? I can’t see it, as they both play excellent defense. I will go under the total in this contest.
Miami, Florida vs. Connecticut -5.5 (149.5) 8:49 pm Eastern (CBS)
Can a team win a title by simply running and gunning? The Hurricanes are trying that route, as they scored 85 points against Indiana, 89 against Houston and 88 against Texas. What Miami doesn’t do is play defense, as they ranked outside the Top 100 in defense this season. There is no question that Miami has excellent perimeter scorers in Wong, Miller and Pack. What we do know is that either Wong or Pack has to step up in this one because Miller can’t possibly play any better than he did against Texas. Keep in mind that Miami is not a deep team and foul trouble would be a huge issue because Miami’s starters log a ton of minutes.
On the other side, Connecticut is playing better than anyone in the country right now. They have completely dominated their opponents in the tourney. Not only can Connecticut score with Miami, they play far better defense than the Hurricanes. The Huskies are very balanced and any number of players can lead them in scoring. They are also very unselfish, and Connecticut is 14-0 when assisting on more than half of their made field goals.
The Huskies have shot the ball very well in the tourney, especially from distance, as they are over 41% from 3-point range. They should get a lot of open looks in this game against the Miami defense.
Final Four Pick
Miami has been somewhat fortunate in getting this far, as they played an overrated Houston team and then somehow rallied after being down double-digits to Texas. Good luck at rallying against Connecticut if you get down big. The Huskies are simply better on both sides of the ball than Miami and I expect them to win and cover this contest. I also am hedging a little bit and also looking for the sweep, as I think this game will be very high scoring and go over the total.
Check out the latest Final Four Odds at Top Online Sportsbooks.