NCAA Basketball Picks: Florida Gulf Coast vs. San Diego State

David Lawrence

Saturday, March 23, 2013 7:32 PM GMT

The San Diego State Aztecs will be a slight favorite to make the Sweet 16, but only a slight one. Florida Gulf Coast could very well make some college basketball history.


College Basketball Betting – Florida Gulf Coast vs. San Diego State Picks

Florida Gulf Coast can win because…

It has the talent of a team that can make the Sweet 16 - don't allow the No. 15 seed to fool you as they did with your sports picks in the first round.. America saw what Florida Gulf Coast was made of on Friday evening against second-seeded Georgetown in the South Region. The Eagles didn't just beat the Hoyas; they outclassed them. This was not a fluke win; this was a straight-up beat down by a superior team against an inferior team. Florida Gulf Coast ran up and down the floor, ramming home spectacular dunks to punctuate open-court sequences. The Eagles were fast, fierce and fearless against Georgetown's defensive pressure, which made a mess of Big East teams over the past two and a half months during the course of the regular season. FGCU has a great mix on the court. It has a primary ball handler in the person of Brett Comer. It has effective wing shooters in the persons of Sherwood Brown, who scored 24 points against Georgetown, and Bernard Thompson. Eddie Murray is a high-flying forward who gives energy to this team off the bench. Starting forwards Chase Fieler and Eric McKnight were more than up to the challenge as interior defenders on Friday against Georgetown's length.

This team had every answer for Georgetown on Friday, and it has the talent of a team that can legitimately get to the Elite Eight, if not the Final Four. The mentality FGCU displays on the court is what will make this team so tough to knock out. San Diego State is a solid team, but it is not an elite shooting team. If Florida Gulf Coast can handle the Aztecs on the glass, it can definitely win this game in Philadelphia.

San Diego State can win because…

It is a capable rebounding team and because it is likely to have the best player on the floor on Sunday. People making their NCAA basketball picks should note that Jamaal Franklin is an elite player, someone who will very likely go to the NBA and have a successful career as a pro. Franklin is the next great Aztec, the successor to Kawhi Leonard, who is enjoying a marvelous run for the San Antonio Spurs. Franklin can shoot the perimeter jumper, but he is also a talented slasher, a formidable rebounder, and a quality man defender, either on the wings or in the post. Franklin does so many things for San Diego State. In the process, he takes so much pressure off each and every one of his teammates. He's going to be a force that FGCU will find hard to contain.

The other thing to point out about San Diego State is that its rebounding was very impressive - and decisive - in Friday's win over Oklahoma in the round of 64. Deshawn Stephens got offensive rebound after offensive rebound in the second half of that clash against the Sooners. If he's able to throw his big, muscular body around in the low post and does not get into foul trouble, FGCU will probably not be able to outwork him for key loose balls in the second half. The Aztecs have the toughness needed to answer each and every challenge the Eagles throw in their general direction.

[gameodds]14/225401/999996-43-19/us[/gameodds]

Outlook & Prediction:

This figures to be a very close game on the NCAAB tournament odds and what's more is that Florida Gulf Coast doesn't play anything like a No. 15 seed. However, there's one simple fact that needs to be kept in mind on Sunday: No 15th seed has ever made the Sweet 16. A few 14 seeds have gotten this far, but never a 15. Unless. Until a No. 15 seed proves that it can get to the second weekend of the NCAA tournament, you have to bet against that trend.

NCAAB  Pick: San Diego State at bookmaker