NCAA Basketball Pick: San Diego State -4 over Boise State

LT Profits Sports Group

Wednesday, March 13, 2013 4:00 AM GMT

Wednesday, Mar. 13, 2013 4:00 AM GMT

San Diego State lost to Boise State in Boise in the regular season finale but expect a different result in the opening round of the Mountain West Conference Tournament Wednesday.

A rematch of the final game of the regular season should produce a different result late Wednesday night when the Boise State Broncos (21-9, 5-8 away) take on the San Diego State Aztecs (21-9, 4-6 away) in the opening round of the Mountain West Conference Tournament at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, NV at 12:00 Midnight ET on CBS Sports Network.

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has San Diego State as the favorite for this contest with the current line at -4 with odds of -104.

These teams closed out the season against each other Saturday with Boise State winning 69-65 at home, but the Broncos have not fared nearly as well away from Boise and the Aztec are ranked significantly higher on the Pomeroy Ratings despite these clubs having identical records.

San Diego State in fact was in the national rankings earlier this season and the Aztecs remain a very good 27th overall on Pomeroy. To give you an idea of just how far the mid-major Mountain West has come, that only makes San Diego State the third highest ranked MWC on Pomeroy behind Colorado State and New Mexico and the conference as a whole is ranked third, ahead of four of the major conferences and behind only the Big Ten and the Big East!

The strength of the Aztecs is their defense, as they are ranked 14th in the country in defensive efficiency, 24th in effective field goal percentage allowed and 23rd in two-point defense. And they have accomplished that vs. a very good schedule that is ranked 26th in SOS, as they faced a good non-conference schedule in addition to facing the tough conference slate that all Mountain West teams face.

When looking at conference games only, San Diego State is ranked third, second and second respectively in those three defensive categories just mentioned.

Despite having an identical 21-9 record, Boise State is ranked only 48th by Pomeroy, a rating hurt by facing a non-conference schedule ranked only 172nd in SOS. Unlike the Aztecs, the Broncos are keyed by their offense which ranks 24th in efficiency. However, as the old saying goes, “Defense wins championships” and we are almost always partial to the defensive team when a good defense faces a good offense in the post-season.

We might have felt differently if the Broncos had a decent defense, but Boise State is ranked 90th in defensive efficiency and a dreadful 252nd in effective field goal percentage allowed. With that in mind, look for San Diego State to avenge Saturday’s loss with much more at stake on late night Wednesday.

[gameodds]14/224394/238-19-93-92-1096/us[/gameodds]

NCAA Basketball Pick: San Diego State -4 (-104)

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