Two West Coast basketball powers outside of the major conferences are in search of a big win that could help with at-large hopes in March. San Diego State and St. Mary’s hook up on Friday in Phoenix, AZ in what should be a great matchup.
Saint Mary's Gaels (-2.5, 118.5) vs. San Diego State
(stats as of Thursday morning)
The Gaels and Aztecs play similar styles, with each team in the bottom 40 of the country in possessions per game, and having held opponents to 59 points per game or fewer in four of the last five games.
On a per-possession basis, San Diego State has the better defense, ranking 17th in the country in points per possession allowed, but are also the worse offense, ranking 280th in points scored on a per-possession basis.
Saint Mary’s has the upper hand on the glass, ranking 35th in the country in rebound rate compared to 180th for San Diego State and has allowed opponents to rebound just 17.8 percent of their missed shots, which ranks seventh nationally.
San Diego State has made just 29.3 percent of their 3-point shots. With the Gaels having five different players averaging more than nine points per game, Saint Mary’s will take this battle of west coast stalwarts.
Pick: Saint Mary’s -2.5