NCAA Men's Basketball Championship Game: UConn A Heavy Favorite Over San Diego State

Updated: 2 Sport

The UConn Huskies have run roughshod over the competition during the Big Dance. Can they blowout one final opponent and cut down the nets in Houston?

NCAA Men's Basketball Championship Game: UConn A Heavy Favorite Over San Diego State
Michael Calabrese US Content Manager

Experienced sports journalist, College sports expert and broadcaster, hailing from Pennsylvania

  • UConn has opened as a 7.5-point favorite.
  • The total is set at 132.5.
  • Adama Sanogo is the favorite to win the Most Outstanding Player at the Final Four at -125 odds.

The Connecticut Huskies have dismantled their competition on their road to the national championship game. They've laid waste to opponents by an average winning margin of 20.6 points per game. This in line with their in-season dominance over non-conference opponents. The Huskies have posted a 15-0-1 ATS record when facing non-Big East conference opponents this season. If they are able to cover on Monday night, they'll become just the second program in the past 20 years to achieve an undefeated ATS record when facing non-conference competition (Portland State, 2018). The Huskies competition, San Diego State, are coming off of the very first come-from-behind buzzer beater in the history of the Final Four. Along the way the Aztecs have knocked off Alabama, Creighton and FAU, teams ranked second, 14th and 22nd by Bart Torvik, respectively. San Diego State's elite defense has helped them squeeze by five opponents by an average margin of just 7.6 points per game. They became the first team in tournament history to win their Elite Eight and Final Four matchups by a single point. 

(5) San Diego State vs. (4) UConn-7.5 (132.5)

9:20p on CBS

The Huskies could close as the largest favorite in the NCAA Basketball Title Game since Duke was favored by 9.5 points over UConn in 1999. Those same Huskies won outright as a massive dog, besting the previously 37-1 Blue Devils 77-74 in St. Petersburg, Florida. This version of the Huskies has justified this spread, which has bubbled up to 8.5-points with certain sportsbooks in the past 24 hours. They are the top-rated team by both KenPom and Bart Torvik, an elite three-point shooting defense (4.9 3PM, 3rd) and an offensive rebounding force as a team (3rd in OReb%). What was once considered to be their weakness, a streaky-shooting backcourt, has now morphed into a considerable strength. Tristen Newton and Jordan Hawkins have kept teams honest with their long range shooting and the UConn bigs have done the rest. Adama Sanogo is the current favorite to win the MOP at the Final Four (-125), coming off of a 21-10 double-double against Miami (FL). That was Sanogo's second 20-10 double-double of the tournament. 

UConn is playing so well on both ends of the floor it's conceivable they win via blowout for the sixth game in a row. But if their offense fails them, a rock fight could break out in Space City. That's how I'm playing this one, with Under 132.5 circle on my sheet.

Mike Calabrese - College Basketball Betting Expert -

San Diego State is extremely well coached by Brian Dutcher. The master gameplanner spent over 30 years as an assistant coach at Michigan and San Diego State before seizing this opportunity to lead SDSU. He's led the Aztecs to three of the last four MWC regular season titles, four straight tournament bids and a four-year rolling record of 108-22 straight up (83.1%). The Aztecs are the top-rated defense in the past month according to Bart Torvik and use a deliberate and slow pace (261st) to shrink games down. That game plan looked inspired against Alabama and Creighton, two teams that had the potential to score 80+ on seemingly any opponent. Will SDSU be able to impose their preferred pace against UConn? That's the question. It's also worth monitoring Nathan Mensah's foul-trouble along the way, because he's the last line of defense between a SDSU upset and a UConn rout fueled by 15+ offensive rebounds. 

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