The St. John’s Red Storm take on the San Diego State Aztecs tonight in the NCAA Tournament Second Round. The game is scheduled for a 9:40 p.m. start time and it will be televised nationally on CBS. Currently the NCAA Tournament Betting Odds for the game have San Diego State favored to pick up the victory.
San Diego State is one of the best defensive teams in the country. The Aztecs rank fourth best in the country in defensive efficiency, allowing just 0.886 points per possession this season. Only Virginia, Kentucky and Arizona had better statistical defenses this year and all three are expected to challenge for the Final Four. San Diego State, with a win, would take on Villanova in the next round, the top seed in the East Region. That would certainly be a contrast in style as the Wildcats love to get out and run while San Diego State is all about slowing the game down and playing each possession as if it were in crunch time.
St. John’s comes into tonight’s game with 21 wins on the season and they have a solid overall team. The Red Storm haven’t looked good in either of their two most recent games though, losing by a combined 55 points to Villanova and Providence. St. John’s will have to play better on both ends of the floor if they are going to hang in this one with San Diego State.
The Red Storm have two great scorers in D’Angelo Harrison and Sir’Dominic Pointer, but against a team like San Diego State, who packs it in defensively and can play a suffocating zone or man-to-man set.
If San Diego State can score in this one, they’ll win. Winston Shepard and Aqeel Quinn both average 11.1 points per game, but the Aztecs will need someone else to step up as well and that could be J.J. O’Brien, a double-digit scorer that also facilitates for San Diego State.
The defense should be the difference, though. San Diego State is simply too good on that end of the floor against St. John’s tonight.
Free Pick: San Diego State 59, St. John’s 53
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