San Diego State vs Houston Preview and Prediction
San Diego State vs Houston Preview
The 11th-seed San Diego State Aztecs, winners of the Mountain West conference tournament will square off against the 6th-seeded Houston Cougars who earned an at-large bid, losing in the American Athletic Conference tournament final to 2nd-seeded Cincinnati.
Offensively, these two teams are fairly even.
Houston is shooting 46.6% from the floor and 38.7% from behind the arc. The Cougars free throw shooting average is 71.7%
San Diego State is shooting 46.1% from the floor and 33.9% from behind the arc. The Aztecs have improved their free throw shooting average to 72.1%.
This is where Houston begins to set themselves apart from the Aztecs.
Houston’s opponent’s have been averaging a field goal percentage of just 36.9% (9th best in the NCAA) and 32.7% (53rd best in the NCAA) from beyond the arc. The Cougars have held opponents to an average of 64.9 points per game this season. That 64.9 points average per game ranks Houston as the 22nd best scoring defense in the nation.
San Diego State’s opponents have been averaging a field goal percentage of just 41.8% (56th best in the NCAA) and 32.6% (46th best in the NCAA) from beyond the arc. The Aztecs have held opponents to an average of 67.9 points per game this season and that ranks the Aztecs 62nd in the nation.
Rob Gray (6-1 and 185 pound RS Senior): Gray is currently leading the Cougars in points per game averaging 18.5 points and leads the Cougars in assists per game with 4.4.
San Diego State X-Factor
Malik Pope (6-10 and 220 pound Senior): Pope is currently leading the Aztecs in points per game averaging 12.9 points, is second in rebounds per game with 6.6 and leads the team with 34 blocked shots.
What the experts think
CBS College Basketball Insider Gary Parrish: Houston over SDSU
CBS College Basketball Writer Matt Norlander: Houston over SDSU
CBS College Basketball Bracketologist Jerry Palm: Houston over SDSU
CBS College Basketball Writer Kyle Boone: SDSU over Houston
CBS College Basketball Writer Reid Forgrave: Houston over SDSU
CBS Senior Writer Dennis Dodd: Houston over SDSU
CBS Senior Writer Chip Patterson: Houston over SDSU
CBS Senior Writer Josh Nagel: SDSU over Houston
Only two CBS Sports writers have San Diego State pulling the upset. This speaks to the team Kelvin Sampson has put together at Houston–they are a dangerous team not only to win this game, but to advance into the second weekend.
LINE: -4 Houston
San Diego State had a miracle run to win the Mountain West conference tournament–without that title the Aztecs would not have made the Tourney field.
Kelvin Sampson has recruited well during his time at Houston and has the talent to make the Sweet 16 with this squad. If you don’t know the name Rob Gray, you will on Thursday.
Houston 74 San Diego State 67