South Second Round Picks: #7 San Diego St Aztecs vs #10 Oklahoma Sooners

2013 NCAA Tournament – South Region Second Round
#7 San Diego State Aztecs vs #10 Oklahoma Sooners
Friday, March 22, 9:20 pm Eastern, TV: TBS
Wells Fargo Center – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Opening Line: San Diego State -1 1/2
Current Line: San Diego State -3
Opening Total: 133 1/2
Current Total: 133 1/2
Opening Money Line: SDSU -140 / Oklahoma +120
Current Money Line: SDSU -155 / Oklahoma +135

San Diego St is a 3 point favorite over Oklahoma Friday in Philadelphia.
San Diego St is a 3 point favorite over Oklahoma Friday in Philadelphia.

Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger became the first coach to lead five different teams to the NCAA tournament when Oklahoma was selected as the #10 seed in the South Region. Kruger also led Kansas St, Illinois, Florida, and UNLV to at least one NCAA tournament win. Kruger is very familiar with his first round opponent from his days at UNLV. The Sooners will take on the #7 San Diego St Aztecs of the Mountain West coached by Steve Fisher Friday night in Philadelphia. The winner will take on either #2 Georgetown or #15 Florida Gulf Coast in the third round Sunday.

San Diego St is 22-10 this season and finished tied for fourth in the Mountain West with Boise St. Both had 9-7 records in conference. The Mountain West send 5 teams to the NCAA tournament, including New Mexico, Colorado St, UNLV, SDSU, and Boise. The Aztecs lost to New Mexico 60-50 in the semifinals of the Mountain West tournament.

Oklahoma is 20-11 and finished tied with Iowa St  at 11-7 for fourth in the Big 12. The Sooners lost to Iowa St 73-66 in the Big 12 quarterfinals. Oklahoma has lost two straight games. Oklahoma leads the series 3-0 against San Diego St, but they haven’t played since 1975.

San Diego St has losses to Syracuse on an aircraft carrier, and against Arizona in a tournament in Hawaii. In conference the Aztecs have losses to UNLV twice, at Wyoming, at Air Force, at Colorado St, at New Mexico twice, and at Boise St. The Aztecs have key home wins over UC-Santa Barbara, San Diego, Colorado St, New Mexico, Boise St twice, Fresno St twice, Nevada twice, Wyoming, and Air Force. SDSU has road wins over Missouri St, and USC,  along with neutral site wins over UCLA in Anaheim, and San Francisco & Indiana St in Hawaii. The Aztecs are 13-13 ATS and the total is 13-10-1 this season.

San Diego St is outscoring teams 69-61 this season. The Aztecs are #41 in points allowed. SDSU is shooting 43.8% from the field and 32.4% from 3 point range. The Aztecs make 67.6% of their free throws. SDSU averages 36.8 rebounds per game and gives up 30.4 per game. Aztec opponents are shooting 38.8% from the field and 32.4% from 3 point range. The Aztecs are #18 in opponents’ field goal percentage. SDSU averages 12 assists, 7 steals, 5 blocks and 12 turnovers per game.

Guard Jamaal Franklin averages 16.7 points, 9.5 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.5 steals, and 0.8 blocks per game. Guard Chase Tapley averages 13.5 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.4 steals per game. Guard Xavier Thames averages 9.8 points, 2.6 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and 1 steal per game. J.J. O’Brien  averages 7.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 1 steal per game.  James Rahon averages 6.5 points and 1.7 rebounds per game. Deshawn Stephens averages 5.9 points and 4.9 rebounds per game.  Winston Shepard, Skylar Spencer, and Dwayne Polee II also get significant minutes.

Oklahoma is coached by Lon Kruger. The Sooners have losses to Gonzaga in a tournament in Orlando, at Arkansas, Kansas St, and Kansas Iowa St twice, at Oklahoma St, at Texas, and at TCU and at home to Stephen F. Austin and Kansas St. Oklahoma has wins over UTEP and West Virginia in Orlando, at Oral Roberts, Texas A&M in Oklahoma City, and at home against Ohio. The Sooners have conference wins at West Virginia twice, and Baylor twice and at home against Oklahoma St, Texas Tech twice, TCU, Iowa St, and Texas. The game in Orlando against West Virginia didn’t count as a conference game because they had both been invited to the tournament before WVU joined the Big 12 this season from the Big East. . Oklahoma is 17-10 ATS and the total is 17-7 this season.

Oklahoma is outscoring teams 71-66 this season. The Sooners are shooting 43.6% from the field and 32.6% from 3 point range. Oklahoma makes 76% of their free throws and are #9 nationally. The Sooners average 36.7 rebounds and give up 31. OU opponents are shooting 41.8% from the field and 32.7% from 3 point range. The Sooners average 12 assists, 6 steals, 3 blocks, and 12 turnovers.

Forward Romero Osby averages 15.8 points, 7 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 0.9 blocks per game to lead the team. Guard Stephen Pledger averages 11.8 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 1.1 steals. Forward Amath M’Baye averages 10.1 points and 5.2 rebounds. Guard Buddy Hield averages 8 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.9 assists, and 1.2 steals. Cameron Clark averages 6.5 points and 3.3 rebounds per game. Je’Lon Hornbeak, Andrew Fitzgerald, Isaiah Cousins and Sam Grooms make up the rest of the rotation. Oklahoma has only 3 players 6′-8″ and over on the roster.

Oklahoma is 4-0 ATS against Mountain West teams, 4-1 in non-conference games, and against teams with winning records, 7-3 after a straight up loss, and overall.

San Diego St is 6-2 ATS in non-conference games, 5-2 against Big 12 teams, 1-4 against teams with winning records, and 1-5 overall.

Both of these teams struggled down the stretch, but they have the talent to make a deep run in the tournament. Both teams are good defensively, so this should be a physical low scoring contest in the low 60’s. I like Oklahoma to pull off the mild upset.

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