Charleston plays San Diego State to open the NCAA Tournament. Charleston is the Colonial champion and beat Chattanooga for the title, while San Diego State won the Mountain West Tournament against Utah State in a close game. My prediction for this game is that Charleston covers the 5.5-point spread, but San Diego State still wins outright. Charleston has the depth and scoring ability to keep this close, but the Aztecs are too good on defense for them to win. Let’s take a look at the odds and make some picks and predictions for this game!
Charleston vs. San Diego State Prediction
Charleston has been a great story this season and they’re tied for the most wins in all of college basketball at 31.
The Cougars are lead by Dalton Bolon in the backcourt. He leads the team in scoring at 12.3 points per game. Ante Brzovic is the best front court player they have. He’s second in scoring at 11.6 PPG and he leads the team in rebounds at 6 per game. Reyne Smith and Pat Robinson III are next up in scoring production and help lead a great offense. Smith averages 11 PPG and Robinson averages 10.6 PPG. The Cougars have a lot of depth with 5 players averaging over 10 PPG.
Charleston is one of the better offenses in the country. They’re 18th in scoring at 81 PPG and are 4th in rebounding at 40.5 per game.
San Diego State has been very good and consistent this year, especially on defense.
The Aztecs are lead by Matt Bradley and go as he goes. He leads the team in scoring and averages 13 PPG. He’s their primary scorer on offense. Darrion Trammell is second in scoring at 9.5 PPG and also leads the team in assists at 3.3 per game. Lamont Butler and Jaedon LeDee also standout for the Aztecs. Butler averages 8.5 PPG and leads the team in steals at 1.5 steals per game. LeDee then averages 8 PPG.
The Aztecs are one of the best defensive teams in all of college basketball this season. They allow 63.6 PPG, which is good enough for 29th in the country. They also then score 72 PPG on offense.
The Cougars are more than capable of keeping this close against the Aztecs. San Diego State is the better team and should win this game, but it’s going to come down to the wire, with Charleston covering and keeping it close.
Charleston vs. San Diego State Prediction: College of Charleston +5.5
Charleston vs. San Diego State Odds
San Diego State is a 5.5-point favorite against Charleston in this 5 vs 12 matchup. The over/under is also at 141.5. San Diego State being favored by this much makes sense because of how good their defense is. The over/under also makes sense because oddsmakers are betting on San Diego State to control the game and if they do then the game won’t be high-scoring.
Charleston vs. San Diego State Key Matchups
Can Dalton Bolon matchup with Matt Bradley? Can Ryan Larson matchup with Darrion Trammell?
Matt Bradley vs Dalton Bolon
Matt Bradley has been great for San Diego State this year. He averages 13 points, 2 assists, and 4 rebounds per game for the season. He’ll be matched up against Dalton Bolon most of the game, who averages 12 points, 1 assist, and 4 rebounds per game for the season. Bolton is a very good offensive player, but Bradley is easily the biggest reason I think San Diego State wins, but Charleston still covers my prediction of +5.5-points.
Darrion Trammell vs Ryan Larson
Darrion Tramell has been very good for the Aztecs this year in the backcourt. He averages 9.5 points, 3 assists, and 2 rebounds per game for the season. He’ll be matched up against Ryan Larson most of the game, who averages 11 points, 4 assists, and 3 rebounds per game for the season. Larson has been very efficient on offense and with his passing. He’s a big reason why Charleston should cover here too.