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San Diego State vs. UAB Odds, Picks, and Predictions

Written by: Bryan Zarpentine
Published March 21, 2024
10 min read
  • San Diego State has lost three of its last five games heading into the NCAA Tournament

  • UAB has won five straight games and gone 9-3 in its last 12 games

  • As a no. 5 seed last season, San Diego State played in the national title game

After making a run all the way to the national title game last season, the San Diego Aztecs are hoping for another run in the NCAA Tournament. Despite only finishing fifth in the Mountain West during the regular season, the Aztecs were given the no. 5 seed in the East Region. They will face the Blazers, who are back in the Big Dance for the second time in the last three years following an unlikely run in the AAC Tournament. But after getting hot at the right time of year, the Blazers are ready for any opponent.

March Madness 2024 Betting Predictions San Diego State vs. UAB

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San Diego State vs. UAB Predictions and Odds

San Diego State

This was an interesting season for the Aztecs, coming off a Final Four and title game appearance last year. They finished 24-10 overall, including an 8-9 record against teams that made the NCAA Tournament. That means San Diego State faced a tough schedule but had mixed results against quality opponents, especially since the Aztecs are the only Mountain West team that isn’t a double-digit seed.

Those mixed results weren’t that surprising considering the turnover on the roster. A year ago, Jaedon Ledee was the team’s fourth-leading scorer, but now he’s the main man for the Aztecs. The former Ohio State and TCU transfer has taken off as a fifth-year starter, averaging 21.1 points and 8.4 rebounds per game. He’s helped carry the Aztecs throughout the season and gives San Diego State a star player to lean on when it needs a basket.

Of course, the San Diego State backcourt shouldn’t be underestimated. The quartet of Reese Waters, Micah Parrish, Lamont Butler, and Darrion Trammell are all capable scorers. All of them outside of Trammell average at least nine points per game, with Waters being the most dangerous three-point threat of the bunch. The only downside is the lack of a true floor general, which explains why the Aztecs average a paltry 13.1 assists per game.

UAB

Given the fact that the Blazers had to win the AAC Tournament to get into the NCAA Tournament, UAB’s resume is somewhat flawed. However, UAB isn’t just another team that’s come alive in March. The Blazers have wins over Maryland, Drake, Memphis, and Florida Atlantic, as well as multiple wins over AAC regular-season champion USF. Also, a one-point loss to Clemson early in the season is evidence that UAB can go toe-to-toe with quality teams.

The Blazers have gotten the job done all season with a balanced attack, as four players average double figures. Of that group, Yaxel Lendeborg is the leading scorer with 13.9 points per game, not to mention the team’s best rebounder, averaging 10.7 boards per game. The two-time junior college All-American is proving that he can produce at the highest level. Lendeborg has put together five straight double-doubles to coincide with UAB’s five-game winning streak heading into the Big Dance.

As mentioned, the Blazers have three other players who average double figures, so this isn’t a one-man team. Point guard Eric Gaines isn’t a great shooter but does everything else at both ends. He’s averaging 12.2 points, 5.5 assists, and 2.4 steals per game. Alejandro Vasquez is another reliable scorer, while Efrem Johnson and Daniel Ortiz provide the Blazers with a pair of outside shooters who can stretch the floor.

San Diego State vs. UAB Pick

DraftKings currently lists San Diego State as a seven-point favorite for Friday’s game. But that seems high for a team that doesn’t have dynamic guard play. With the way Lendeborg can play and the surrounding cast around him, this is a game the Blazers can win. The kicker is that UAB is 12-3 against the spread in its last 15 games, while the Aztecs are 2-6 against the spread in their last eight games. That points to UAB keeping this game close and potentially pulling off the old 12-5 upset.

How to Watch San Diego State vs. UAB

When: 1:45 PM EST on Friday, March 22

Where: Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena, Spokane, Washington

TV: TNT

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AUTHOR

Bryan Zarpentine

168 Articles

Bryan Zarpentine is a 2008 graduate of Syracuse University and has been working as a freelance writer and editor since 2010. During that time, he has contributed to countless sites while covering baseball, soccer, the NFL, college football, and college basketball.

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