It's Final Four Friday, but as UConn, San Diego State, Miami and Florida Atlantic descend upon Houston - what is the path for each to win it all?
Let's look at all four teams, and what it will take for them to win it all?
Here is a look, with the odds provided by Betfred Sportsbook:
UConn is the best team remaining in the tournament. They’re the most balanced team left and have been the most impressive team across the board. They can win the whole thing because of that balance. They also have a great inside-outside combination with both Adama Sanogo and Jordan Hawkins leading the way for the Huskies. Sanogo has been a beast for the Huskies this season and the Tournament has only magnified that across the board. Sanogo leads the team in scoring at 17 PPG and in rebounding at 7.5 per game. Hawkins is up next in scoring at 16 PPG and is one of the best shooters on the team at 38.5% from three-point range. UConn can also throw waves of perimeter players
UConn is rated as the top team in KenPom across the board. The offense is very efficient and scores 78.8 PPG, which is good for 28th in college basketball. They’re also No. 2 in point differential at +14.4 and are 10th in assists per game at 17.6 per game. Then on defense, UConn is 35th in points allowed at 64.4 PPG, 12th in rebounds at 39.3 per game, and 20th in blocks at 4.8 per game.
UConn’s keys to winning this whole thing rely on their shooting ability with Hawkins and others like Alex Karaban being consistent. They also need to continue their dominance down low too because there’s no teams left that can matchup with them on the glass. This is UConn’s Final Four if they can finish the job.
San Diego State (+380)
San Diego State has the next best odds because they’re on the other side of the bracket and have a bigger chance of at least getting to the title game because they’re playing Florida Atlantic instead of Miami or UConn. They play great defense and are filled with experience with five different 5th year seniors on their roster. Matt Bradley and Darrion Trammell are the standouts for the Aztecs this season. Bradley is their best player, but he’s been held in check the last two games, so he’s a big key for the Aztecs to get going in Houston. He leads the team in scoring at 12.5 PPG in the backcourt. Trammell has been huge for the Aztecs, especially in the last 2 games with Bradley not doing as much. Trammell averages 10 PPG and is tied for the lead in both assists and steals on the team with 1.5 steals per game.
San Diego State is rated as the 14th team overall in KenPom and is next up in related to the overall quality of the teams remaining after UConn. Their defense is also the highest rated left, with a #4 ranking overall and a rating of 89.9. They are also ranked 25th in the country in points allowed at 62.9 PPG. The offense needs work and is the Aztecs’ biggest weakness. They score 71.5 PPG and are 74th in adjusted offense on KenPom. The Aztecs need to score in order to make some noise in this Final Four. They can make up for it with their experience and physicality, but on a big stage it could be an issue. Still, they can get any team off their game and that’s a big thing to keep in mind in a one and done tournament.
Miami getting to this point is unprecedented, but no fluke. The Hurricanes are one of the best offenses in the entire country and it’s been a huge reason why they’ve made it this far. The backcourt for Miami is the engine that makes them go. Isaiah Wong and Jordan Miller are the main ones to keep an eye on. Wong leads the team in scoring at 16 PPG, in assists at 3 per game and in steals at 1.4 per game. Jordan Miller is up next and is almost even more reliable, averaging 15 PPG, and he’s coming off a perfect game against Texas where he didn’t miss a shot or a field goal and scored 27 points. The Hurricanes also have Nijel Pack to round out their three-headed monster in the backcourt and Norchad Omier down low, who’s been their best big man.
Miami’s KenPom ranking is the worst of the remaining teams at 22 overall. They’re held up by the offense which is ranked #5 in KenPom with a 119.6 rating. They’re also 21st in scoring this season at 79.6 PPG, 46th in point differential at +7.6, and are 14th in field goal percentage at 48.4%. The biggest issue with the Hurricanes is their defense. They allow 72 PPG and are 104th in defense on KenPom. The Hurricanes are in bad shape in these two games if their shots aren’t falling. A team like UConn is going to take advantage of that leaky defense a ton. Still, the Hurricanes can’t be counted of their game against UConn and overall to win the tournament because of their talent at the guard spot and in a one and done tournament that might be the difference.
Florida Atlantic (+625)
If any team is considered a “Cinderella” in this Final Four, it’s Florida Atlantic. The Owls are a 9-seed but got here due to a crazy path they took. Johnell Davis and Alijah Martin are the 1-2 punch for the Owls this year. Davis leads the team in scoring at 14 PPG and in steals at 1.5 per game. He’s been their leader on this run. Alijah Martin is right next to him in scoring at 13 PPG and is a slightly better three-point shooter at 37% from behind the arc. Nicholas Boyd makes up a lethal trio of guards and then Vladislav Goldin is a force down low for the Owls when needed, and he’s been able to help them put up with bigger teams overall.
The Owls are a very balanced team this year. They got 35 wins for a reason and have proven to be no pushover. They’re the 17th ranked team in KenPom, with their offense being ranked 24th while their defense is ranked 30th. They’re 37th in scoring at 78 PPG on offense and then are 45th in points allowed at 65.1 PPG. They also are very good at rebounding by grabbing 39.1 per game, good for 16th in the country. They are also 6th in the NCAA in three-pointers made this season. The balance the Owls have shown is why they’ve been able to get this far. They deserve to be in this spot. A balanced team like the Owls can keep going in this tournament, especially in a one and done style tournament. Florida Atlantic is the worst team remaining, but they still have value because of what they’ve shown so far.
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To get full odds on the entire NCAA Tournament visit Betfred Sportsbook
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