NCAA March Madness: San Diego State vs. College of Charleston betting preview, odds and predictions

By VSiN Staff  ( 

March 12, 2023 03:08 PM

NCAA March Madness: San Diego State Aztecs vs. College of Charleston Cougars betting preview, odds and predictions

In the 5 vs. 12 matchup in the South region of the 2023 NCAA tournament, the San Diego State Aztecs face the College of Charleston Cougars with a spot in the Round of 32 on the line. All tournament long, VSiN will be providing you with March Madness betting odds, in-depth team analysis and expert college basketball picks. Make us your one-stop shop for all of your betting needs. 

MORE: Check out the public betting splits for every college basketball game on the VSiN betting splits page

How to watch San Diego State vs. College of Charleston

When: Thursday, 3:10 p.m. ET

Where: Orlando, Florida

Watch: truTV

Odds for San Diego State vs. College of Charleston

Spread: San Diego State -5.5

Total: 141.5

(Odds accurate as of Sunday, March 12th at 11:00 p.m. ET)

Real-time betting splits at DraftKings Sportsbook

South Region No. 5 Seed San Diego State Aztecs 

San Diego State was consistently excellent under Steve Fisher, and things didn’t change when he handed the program over to longtime assistant Brian Dutcher. This year, the Aztecs were the top team in the Mountain West again, and they’re a team that our VSiN Power Ratings like quite a bit. That shouldn’t come as much of a surprise considering they’re more like a blue blood than a mid-major team when it comes to on-court talent. Matt Bradley is the player to watch for this San Diego State squad, as the senior led the team in scoring this year. But any number of players is capable of stepping up and leading the Aztecs to a win, which is why this is a dangerous basketball team.

South Region No. 12 Seed College of Charleston Cougars

The CAA might not be the best conference in the world, but a 31-3 record is a 31-3 record. This Cougars team has to be taken very seriously by anybody it faces, and a win over the Virginia Tech Hokies early in the year is proof of that. The Hokies are a very solid basketball team, so this College of Charleston team is absolutely capable of hanging with bigger programs. The crazy thing about this team is that five players average double digits in scoring, which makes it hard to play off anybody when the Cougars have the ball. This group also plays good defense, making it hard to find a weakness here.

San Diego State vs. College of Charleston matchup analysis

As is the annual tradition on Selection Sunday, the committee chopped the legs off of a dangerous mid-major with a pairing of two really interesting teams that could threaten a major conference team. San Diego State is underseeded as a No. 5. The Aztecs have been a top-15 team per Ken Pomeroy and Bart Torvik throughout the season, but they weren’t viewed that way by those that make decisions about the bracket.

The prize for being one of the nation’s strongest teams is to run into a 31-win conference champion in Charleston. This is a contrast of styles, as San Diego State plays at a below-average tempo and Charleston likes to run. Charleston also loves to shoot 3s, while San Diego State is a lot more methodical on offense. The Cougars actually have a 47.4% 3P Rate. Only Alabama takes a 3 more often among tournament teams.

Where this handicap gets really interesting is that San Diego State held opponents to just 29.2% on 3s, which ranked in the top 10. Charleston only shot 33.3% on all of those 3s and no team in the CAA came remotely close to the defensive statistics that the Aztecs compiled. In fact, most of the conference was really bad defensively.

As great as San Diego State was defensively, and as much as the metrics love them, the adjustments made for strength of schedule are doing a lot of heavy lifting with their offensive efficiency metrics. This is a team that ranks outside the top 200 in 2P% and shot just slightly better than the national average (34%) from 3 at 34.4%. The Aztecs didn’t get to the rim a lot and settled for a lot of mid-range jumpers, which tend to have a low return on investment.

Make no mistake—Charleston fits the profile of an extremely dangerous mid-major conference champion. It just comes down to whether or not the Cougars, who only played three Quadrant II or better opponents, can crack the code of the Aztec defense.

MORE: College basketball best bets from VSiN hosts and analysts

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