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New Mexico Lobos vs. SDSU Aztecs Gambling & NCAA Handicapping Prediction

New Mexico vs San Diego St. CBB Picks

The 2013-14 NCAA basketball season has brought us to championship week, and with the Mountain West Conference putting together one good game after another, we’ve finally got the New Mexico Lobos and the San Diego State Aztecs ready to face off in the title game. [ad-4468020]

2014 Mountain West Conference Tourney
No. 20 New Mexico Lobos (26-6, 15-3 MWC) @ No. 8 San Diego State Aztecs (29-3, 16-2 MWC)
Saturday, March 15 6:00 PM ET
Spread: SDSU -1.5 / OU: 125.5

ATS Matchup Insight | CP Insider Gambling Preview

Entering the contest, the Lobos are ranked 20th nationally while the Aztecs area No. 8. The two programs went 1-1 against each other in the regular season, and both are looking to add to their momentum with one final win before March Madness officially begins.

New Mexico

When New Mexico met San Diego State the first time this regular season, the team walked away with a solid 58-44 victory.

The Aztecs were ranked sixth in the nation at that time, and the win gave the Lobos enough momentum to win every game the rest of the season—except against San Diego State.

In Round 2, the Lobos had a 16-point lead with just over 12 minutes to go, but the Aztecs stormed back, proving why they’re one of the best teams in the country.

Needless to say, the Lobos need to gain an early lead this time around and keep it.
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San Diego State stormed its comeback by switching to a 1-3-1 zone defense. The tactic, albeit a bit unconventional, prevented the Lobos from dropping the ball off into the paint.

The way they can avoid a similar defensive tactic being used against them this time is to simply make quick passes around the perimeter, and even more crucial, make their jump shots—they were just 2-of-14 from long range in that matchup.

San Diego State

It goes without saying when a team has only three losses at this point in the year, but the San Diego State Aztecs are one of the hottest squads in the country.

Their offense, while leaving something to be desired, is respectable, as it scores 71.4 points per game on 44.2 percent shooting. However, defense is where this team has made its mark.

On the year, the Aztecs are allowing just 56.4 points per contest—the second-best mark in the nation—and they are recording 5.3 blocks and 7.8 steals—the 28th- and 29th-best marks, respectively.

They also give up just 38.4 percent from the field, which is eighth nationwide, and 28.6 from the three-point line, which is fourth.

The Lobos are also a very strong defensive squad, ranking 11th in field-goal percentage allowed and 82nd in points allowed. Unfortunately, if defense truly wins championships, San Diego State has the edge in this one, which is likely to be a gritty showcase.

Prediction: San Diego State 63 – New Mexico 58

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