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San Diego State vs UConn: 2023 NCAA Championship Predictions | College Basketball Odds [ April 3rd ]

TJ Reeves:

One more time. Here we are on the BetUS College Basketball Show as we get ready for the National Championship game here in Houston between UConn and San Diego State.

Hello once more. I am the somewhat capable host, somewhat rested for the weekend in the craziness here in the Space City of Houston, TJ Reeves. The handicappers are back once more with feeling. Hello Corby Craig. Hello Mid-Major Matt, Matt Josephs, only fitting that a mid-major, but are they really a mid-major? We’ll get into that, Matt Josephs.

Only fitting that San Diego State, a non-power six, if you include the Big East, is in the championship game on the show, boys. How we feeling? We’re ready to handicap this title game and we’re ready to wrap up the college basketball season. What started in late October is now going to be done here on April the 3rd in Houston. Matt Josephs, you’re ready to go for one more show?

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Matt Josephs:

Yeah, I’m excited for tonight’s game. I wish it was an earlier tip off. I’m tired of the NCAA not taking the East Coast into its thoughts here. Maybe an 8:15 instead of a 9:15, that would be nice. But it should be a good game tonight.

TJ Reeves:

Corby Craig, I don’t know if you’re cranky about the start time or what you’re cranky about here, how you feeling for a Monday? One more game to go.

Corby Craig:

No, I’m good. It should be a fun game so just hope UConn doesn’t continue to do what they’ve done the last few games, because they haven’t been that fun to watch. Miami made it a little more fun but, man, UConn looks dominant.

TJ Reeves:

They do. We got plenty of numbers to back that up. I can tell you watching them firsthand for the first time in the tournament, they are big. They got multiple shooters, and if you do not get out and guard, which San Diego State does really well, this is over with tonight.

So the only real question is how well do they guard them and how well do they slow them down, because we know San Diego State’s not going to win a game in the mid-70s or above, the 80s or whatever else that’s UConn’s game, and we will find out what the pace is.

So much to get to. Let me lay the show out for you. We obviously are going to handicap the one and only game coming up here in a couple of moments. We look forward to seeing what both handicappers have for a play coming up here in a little bit. Also, some time for some questions and answers on this one final game tonight and as we wrap up the season.

So you’ve been participating with us all throughout the year. Great job. Those of you that are in the live chat, thank you for finding us, and again, send in some live questions as you’ve done so throughout the season. We’re anxious to see what some of you have to say. You’ll see some of the comments coming on the screen down below us as we go along, but great stuff.

Again, get some questions in because we’re anxious to have some of those. The live participation has been big for sure here to this point. So guys, I can relate a couple of things just real quick. Once and for all, for those that thought there would not be massive interest in Houston for this game, it was some atmosphere and it was completely full in the first part of game one with San Diego State and Florida Atlantic.

Do not be dissuaded that it’s not going to be full tonight because it’s San Diego State and UConn. It will be full tonight and obviously the tickets were already gone in advance. It’s just a matter of changing hands and who shows up. I’m telling you, everybody showed up. It was 73,000 legit.

When Lamont Butler made that shot, it was shaking in the building, guys. I can testify it was crazy, and that is the first time in a Final Four game for a buzzer beater with a team down one. Now obviously, Matt, this Jalen Suggs’ half court shot in Indianapolis was a tie game. The 93-90 winner from mid-court was a tie game, but that’s winner lose, Matt Josephs, on the shot by Butler.

That was at the end of the floor where they were coming at us and the overflow media, and I’m like he got it off, because you could see the red light go on with the ball going in. It’s good and then just the San Diego State fans were wrapped around to our right, and it was bedlam, it was berserk at that point in the building. So I thought I would share that, but Matt, a thought on how the Aztecs won the game down one to advance to the national title game real quick.

Matt Josephs:

I mean, I was obviously disappointed. I was rooting for Florida Atlantic, and I was stunned they didn’t call the time-out. But I also thought in the heat of the moment, if he makes the free throw there, maybe they call timeout, set up the play, get the guys in, but with the miss and the opportunity to scramble around a little bit.

Plus we also have to talk about how close he was to stepping out of bounds. I mean he was inches away from stepping out of bounds and becoming going from a hero to a GOAT. So it was a crazy play and congratulations to San Diego State.

TJ Reeves:

Should be worth mentioning that my Memphis Tigers, one more reference to them, could have knocked Florida Atlantic out. They made the play though at the end of the opening round game and scored. Kansas State could have won the game at Madison Square Garden, but John L. Davis made the shot and then they took it away again.

For whatever reasons, Marquis Noel gave the ball up and they took it away from him and they never got the three off in the regional final to go to the Final Four. This time though, the third time San Diego State was better. Corby Craig, thoughts on the end of that game. San Diego State’s win before we get into some handicapping.

Corby Craig:

Yeah, Lamont Butler he’s got it in him. I mean he’s the same guy that hit the New Mexico game winner, didn’t even hesitate. No hesitation, no thought, he’s shooting that shot in both instances, and I actually didn’t see the out of bounds. I was at a brewery and didn’t see the out of bounds like angle until well after, and man, imagine being the reft put in the predicament to attempt to call that or not.

I mean, it was a tough spot. That was as close as you can get, but by all means, ice in his veins. What a shot, he didn’t think twice. Once he let go, he knew it was in. So I mean there has to be something to be said, Florida Atlantic was up, what, 14 in the second half. So great game and yet San Diego State figured out a way to get it done.

TJ Reeves:

They have clamped down on each of the last three [inaudible 00:05:56] again for tonight. We will see. If that is the case later on this evening, even if UConn is up by double figures, we will see if that is the case coming up.

All right, so much to get to. Again, the Huskies rolled along and did a great job obviously with scoring early, building the big lead, Miami made one run. I knew guys it was big trouble because all the Miami football guys, the alumni, including Michael Irvin and some of the others, they got up about eight minutes to go in the game. They realized this is done. We’re headed out to do whatever on a Saturday night in Houston because the UConn Huskies are going to advance.

By the way, UConn is now seven and oh in the 2000s in the state of Texas in the Final Four, looking to be eight and oh with four championships. What is it about Connecticut and the Lone Star State that they’re going for tonight? All right, so some of that off of Saturday. Again, we’ll get to your questions and comments as we go.

Let’s take a look at the records, and then let’s do what we do and get into some handicapping. All right, records off the show for the weekend. Not as good a Final Four Saturday for Corby and for Kyle. And so the show dips down below 500 here overall, although Kyle does finish the year over 500 and Corby will obviously finish the year over 500.

Mid-Major Matt is right at it with a couple of plays here coming in the final show. With that, guys, we’ve got one game to go. That is, San Diego State as a seven and a half point underdog. We’ll get into that about the line. UConn favored by seven and a half, which matches the largest line in the last 20 years.

Villanova was a seven and a half point favorite in the championship game with Michigan back in 2018. So seven and a half, the total 132 and a half on the BetUS line. Let’s begin with the discussion. Mid-Major Matt, start us off on Monday night’s title game, please, sir.

Matt Josephs:

I’ll start with the side and the total here, and then we can come back around and do some prop talk after that. But I mean obviously look, when you see a national championship in almost it’s any sport, and you see a seven and a half or something like that in that sport, that’s pretty big.

That is a little bit of a disrespect factor for what San Diego State has done so far, considering the offenses that they’ve shut down and considering the ways that they’ve won their game. Now there’s two ways to look at the Florida Atlantic game. Obviously they were down double digits, they come back and win the game and that’s really good.

Or you look at it from, boy, they weren’t very good and if not for a last second shot they would not have been here. So I feel like there’s a little bit of disrespect here for the Aztecs. Obviously Connecticut, what they’ve been able to do is take advantage of some matchups. When you look at some of the teams that they’ve beaten along the way, they’ve either been too small or their guards haven’t been very good.

San Diego State’s got the size inside to match up with UConn, I would think. Mensah and some of the other guys that they have are going to be able to bang around on the inside, which is what Miami couldn’t do, which is what Gonzaga couldn’t do, which is what some of the other teams couldn’t do. So I think that’s the thing there.

The problem is for San Diego State, their guards aren’t good enough. I mean Trammell’s good. Bradley’s going to have to play a whole lot better than he has at times in this tournament, but this number’s just so big. I didn’t make it one of my official plays, but I just leaned to San Diego State here with regards to the side here.

I also think this game’s probably under. If this game is close, free throw shooting comes in and remember UConn fouls a ton here. So when San Diego State gets to the line, they have to make their free throws because there will be plenty of opportunities for them to do. So I leaned to San Diego State here, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we’re talking about this as a double-digit UConn win, considering what they’ve done so far.

TJ Reeves:

Corby Craig, thoughts? And an official play coming here, for example, Kansas, if you’re just wondering about the last couple years, Kansas was a four point favorite on the neutral floor against North Carolina. Two years ago in the compressed Indianapolis version of the tournament, Gonzaga was a four and a half point favorite with Baylor.

Baylor jumped all over them in the first half and ended up winning the game going away. So for what it’s worth, there’s the two most recent lines. This one’s seven and a half, Corby Craig, thoughts on the line? Thoughts on the total please?

Corby Craig:

I took seven and a half with San Diego State. The issue is I think that this number is exaggerated due the fact that UConn has played really well as of late. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t enjoy saying this and I don’t enjoy being against UConn, this is probably the most peak team we’ve seen in quite some time. They hit their stride at the best possible time.

But if you play this game before the tournament starts, if you play it right as conference tournament is, this number is probably four. San Diego State’s a very good team and people say UConn [inaudible 00:10:25] stride, but San Diego State locked up an Alabama team who has been unstoppable basically all year.

They stopped a FAU team that was doing everything right, down 14 with just minutes to play, what I think it was like the 12-minute mark, down 14. So we see a San Diego State team that also is hitting stride. They’re in the national championship for a reason. So this just seems too many points.

As for the total, I think it’s a complete correlation. So if you think UConn’s going to win, the over probably is [inaudible 00:10:49]. If you think San Diego State keeps this close, it has to stay under. I don’t think the San Diego State can play game in the 70s and keep this close, by any means.

I made it 67-63, which leans towards the idea that San Diego State can play their pace, and the TJ stat always is, what, San Diego State’s 27 and two now when teams score less than 70?

TJ Reeves:

25 and two, 25 and two, it did not happen Saturday because Florida Atlantic got to 70. 25 and two when the opponent doesn’t get there, Corby Craig.

Corby Craig:

So I think that comes into factor. If they’re going to win, they have to keep it low. So if you think that this is a UConn steam race, then UConn [inaudible 00:11:29] looks like a good spot there.

TJ Reeves:

All right, and Matt Joseph, you had a couple of official plays as well involving player props. Player props will be big as well. Let’s go ahead and get into those and what you like in particular with three-point shooting, Matt?

Matt Josephs:

As you mentioned last week, I mean I love the three point shooting. We hit a lot with Brady Manic last year. It was great. I think everybody gets scared of what San Diego State’s three-point defense is. It’s been great, 28.1% throughout the season, but if you notice during that Florida Atlantic game, I mean we lost on the Elijah Martin under two and a half, three pointers.

You look, they made nine, and I think some of it is they play great defense on there, but that drop coverage, they’re giving up a ton of threes. They’re allowing 40% of the shots that the opponents are taking from three point land, so there’s going to be opportunities there. UConn, 41.9% of their shots are from three point land, so this kind of matches up here.

Now look, UConn could go cold like some of the other teams do and then these are both losses here, but I’m going to take the two guys and they’re different prices. I’m going to take the over two and a half on Jordan Hawkins. With food poisoning last game, had three three pointers. He’s gone over this in 11 of his last 14, including every game in the NCAA tournament. So I like that, it’s minus one 20 on the BetUS Sports Book.

And then this is the one we did hit when I talked about the props last week was the Alex Karaban over. It’s plus one 60. Karaban has gone over in 10 of his last 15 games, 24 of his 38 overall. At plus one 60, it’s definitely worth a look here because he’s going to shoot him, he’s going to have the opportunities to shoot him. He took six, he made two in the other game.

Just to me, when you look at props in this situation and you see a plus here, it better be something that’s never happened, and Karaban’s gone over this 24, 38 games this season, the opportunities are going to be there. Can’t guarantee he’s going to make them.

But at plus one 60, I’m taking a shot here, so over two and a half threes for Jordan Hawkins, over one and a half threes for Alex Karaban. We hit both. That’s great. If we hit the Karaban one, it covers the other one. So let’s take a shot.

TJ Reeves:

I like that. He’s got a couple of tactical plays, Matt Josephs, with the three ball, and again, can we just say this? I mean this is like a 10-year sample and running. Trevor, I see you there on the stat with the three pointers and a couple other people were pointing this out as we went along in the comments and in the live chat.

The myth, that’s what it is guys, the myth about stadiums being a problem shooting early. I mean we saw in the Florida Atlantic-San Diego State game, Bradley comes out making three pointers right away for San Diego State. Both teams combined to start the game five for nine. I think Florida Atlantic hit their first two and hit three of their first four to start the game.

Certainly, UConn hit the first three they took right away, boom, boom, boom, in the first two, three minutes of the game with Miami and shot it well for much of the night, so give credit where it’s due. In the case of shooters, they’re going to shoot well, and we’ve seen it now in a large enough sample size, including in the Superdome last year, including in Lucas Oil Stadium in the Final Four.

Two years ago, go all the way back to Minnesota in 2019 when both teams shot it well in the football stadium. It’s a myth to say that it’s not going to happen. Don’t be surprised if you see three pointers reigning in the first two segments of this game. If you’re at the under 12-minute timeout and you see 4, 5, 6 combined tres made between these two teams, it just doesn’t exist on that front.

All right, so why don’t we lock the guys in on the discussion. We’ve given you plenty on this including side, total and also a couple of props from Matt. So we lock the boys in. Mid-Major Matt, again has Hawkins to be over two and a half three pointers made. Corby Craig on the side with San Diego State. Again, if you’re wondering in the recent history of seven point underdogs, I did some more research for you guys here.

The recent history of seven point underdogs, again Villanova was a seven and a half point favorite. Michigan was the underdog, and Villanova covered the line in a 17-point win, Alamo Dome 2018. The last seven point line before that was Duke against Butler. Duke favored by seven against Butler in 2010. They did not cover. Remember, it was right in the closing seconds and Gordon Hayward had the half court shot that could have maybe won the game that climbed off, so they did not cover.

The year before that in Detroit, North Carolina, a seven and a half point favorite with Michigan State, did cover. So two of the last three times that the line has been seven or seven and a half, whatever it’s worth, it’s been covered. But Corby thinks the Aztecs will at least keep it close, if not be right there at the end.

The second play on the threes and the prop is Karaban of UConn to go over one and a half three pointers with the different shooters. By the way, Sanogo making the threes early on. Here’s another factor guys, I want thoughts from both of you on this. Corby Craig, go grab the rebound, go grab the loose ball. Miami didn’t do that.

When UConn was missing, they didn’t go get the rebounds. That’s key, and I think San Diego State is better on the ball defensively, but I think they’re also better rebounding. But if they’re not going and grabbing the rebound and they’re not blocking out, they’re in big trouble, the Aztecs.

Corby Craig:

Yeah, rebounds. One of the there’s you can go correlations through queries and see the team who wins the rebound battle usually covers the spread, which makes sense because to grab a rebound, the other team has to miss a shot in most cases. So it makes sense, but it does line up that if you’re winning the rebound battle, you typically cover the spread.

I think the interesting thing is that this is probably the first team that has true bigs of multiple different tosses. So they can throw a rope at you for eight minutes or he played 14 minutes in the game before and he’s a very physical big. They can give Sanogo no off time.

When Drew Timme came out, they had another piece but they really had never looked to score down low, and I think San Diego State has that ability. I was talking to Matt before the show, but I was looking at [inaudible 00:17:37] at four and a half points, and I think that he gets well over that.

If they can get Sanogo in foul trouble by any means just tossing bodies at him, then UConn’s going to have to change up their scheme. By all means, I still think UConn is the best team in the nation, but they have the pieces to at least give them a little bit of a puzzle early on.

TJ Reeves:

Rebounding, Matt Josephs, how big of a key, while we talk about this game one more time, and in particular if San Diego State is giving up second chances and Miami was even giving up third chances in the same possession? That is death probably for San Diego State if they’re doing that multiple times in this game.

Matt Josephs:

Well yeah, and as Corby just said, you look at the teams that they’ve beaten already. Miami, Omier is a solid guy, but he’s six foot seven. Gonzaga, it’s really Drew Timme, and when Watson got in foul trouble, they were left a little vulnerable inside. Arkansas’s not exactly a big team.

St. Mary’s has their bigs, but they’re like athletically big for the WCC. Mitchell Saxon’s great and all, but he’s not going to be in there and compete very well with Sanogo. Then Iona, of course, is a mid major that doesn’t have a Vlad Golden of any sort.

So this is the first time tournament that UConn has at least seen guys inside that will be able to bang around and compete there. Now, that’s not to say they’re going to get the offensive rebounds, but at least if they stay out of foul trouble they’ll be able to compete in there.

TJ Reeves:

All right, good enough. By the way, more nuggets. San Diego State is the first team ever, ever, ever, in the NCAA tournament to win the Elite Eight game by one on the free throw and then win the Final Four game by one on the last second shot. Only two other times in the entire tournament has a team won back-to-back games by one point. That’s hard to believe.

Two times ever, Loyola Chicago 2018, Corby Craig, pay attention. Loyola Chicago 2018 won back-to-back games earlier in the tournament before the Final Four by one point, and then St. Joseph’s, Philly area there, Matt Joseph’s, St. Joseph’s in the 1981 tournament won back to back games by one point. That’s it.

Long history of Duke, Kentucky, North Carolina, Kansas, Michigan State, Syracuse, UCLA, nobody else has won back-to-back games by one point and San Diego State did it in the Elite Eight and in the Final Four with the last… That’s pretty incredible to go back and look at the history of the game. So let’s see if it’s close tonight. Does it favor the Aztecs who’ve repeatedly won close games?

They had to put away Charleston in the opening game in a one possession game with free throws and a stop. So they’ve had close games over and over again when UConn really has not. All right, again, thank you for finding us.

Final show. Final show with the college basketball season on championship Monday here from Houston. I am thrilled to be here and be at the Final Four yet again. I got Matt and Corby kicking it with me. Guys, you want some questions and answers before we’re done?

You’ve given the peeps a lot, the savages a lot. You want some Q and A? You good?

Corby Craig:

Let’s knock it out.

TJ Reeves:

Let’s do it. Let’s see what some of the guys are saying here about this, and gals, about the title game coming up here for tonight. [inaudible 00:20:45] is watching and says, “Thoughts on the first half, the BetUS line at 61.” Thoughts on a first half under, obviously that flew over, Corby, in the Florida Atlantic-San Diego State semi-final game. Thoughts on a first half under please?

Corby Craig:

Yeah, 61 is such a sketchy number. I think maybe if this is 63, 63 and a half I would consider it, but you’re talking about a number that’s so close to… If there’s any pace of play in this game and UConn has shown that they can do that every single time that they want to, Florida Atlantic was able to do it on San Diego State.

So 61 is a number that I would not be around. It’s a gray zone. I wouldn’t want to bet an [inaudible 00:21:24] one be on an under, so as awful of an answer as it is, I’ve got nothing there.

TJ Reeves:

Matt Josephs, on Saturday, that was the first time San Diego State had allowed 40 points in a first half since January 7th when Wyoming scored 42 on them. Again, they still went on to win at Wyoming, so it had been a while since somebody got to 40 points. Obviously, you’re blown up if you’re taking the under and UConn gets anywhere close to 40 points in the first half. Thoughts on a first half under, Matt?

Matt Josephs:

I mean obviously, I wouldn’t play that. I don’t do a lot of first half under. I don’t do a lot of unders overall. I’ll say this, the interesting bet if you look in the BetUS Sports Book, is the first half race to 35, minus 125 for neither. So obviously, look, there’s the 61 and then there’s 70ish with that bet.

But if you like the under, maybe take a look at neither team getting the 35 points in the first half. You imagine that San Diego State will tighten things up a little bit in that first half and pretty much you’re just guessing that UConn… And if you think UConn’s going to do it, and they’re going to win the first half, they’re plus 150 there. I think that’s more of an interesting bet than just playing the total, the straight total, for the first half.

TJ Reeves:

Love that. That’s some tremendous insight on that one. Gas Station Sushi watching us, hello, live on the final show, says, “Who gets the MVP,” or in this case, it’s not just the MVP for the title game, it’s considered the MOP, the most outstanding player of the tournament. Matt, do you have a thought on that scenario and what play? I mean, there’s obviously some odds on Sanogo, some odds on Bradley of San Diego State. Any thought on most outstanding player, and again, it’s for the entire tournament?

Matt Josephs:

So I would not take Sanogo at minus 180, especially with the way this team plays basketball. I mean, obviously he should have a big game. To me it’s crazy here and I would sprinkle almost a little bit on both these guys.

Tristan Newton and Andre Jackson are both 40 to one. They’re both guys who could get into triple double-ish range in terms of like 8 points, 7 rebounds, six assists type of thing. Obviously, there’s going to be all this focus on the guy who scores the most, but Tristan Newton and Andre Jackson at 40 to one, I’d almost, you know what I would almost do, TJ?

Outside of Sanogo, I’d almost sprinkle on everybody else if you think UConn’s going to win. And if one of the big shots hit, you come out ahead as opposed to just taking Sanogo who’s not a guarantee to win the MOP anyway.

Then on the San Diego State side, I mean that’s tough. Butler’s 12 to one, Trammell is 22 to one. It’s a little bit tougher for me to envision who’s going to do well for a San Diego State win, but to me there’s value on almost everybody on UConn other than Sanogo here.

TJ Reeves:

Corby Craig, thoughts on most outstanding player, which again, Hawkins has been tremendous shooting the ball. I know he was under the weather, food poisoning, don’t have the steak and lobster, apparently that’s what it was legitimately, that made him feel a little sick. Then after that, Miami was feeling sick once the game began. Corby Craig, thoughts on most outstanding player props?

Corby Craig:

UConn’s definitely too balanced to take a 180 Sanogo. If Sanogo was any plus odds, than by all means. But I think Jordan Hawkins at 350 isn’t bad. He’s obviously played really well, and then for San Diego, see I think anybody but and how Matt talked about no Sanogo, I think anybody but Matt Bradley.

If it’s most outstanding player over the tournament, Matt Bradley’s had a pretty piss poor tournament. I would lean towards probably Lamont Butler just due to the… I know that he doesn’t score a ton, but the depth of that shot and then if he has a good game today, I could easily see it being Butler at, what, 12 to one. Not getting a great price, honestly. I don’t love 12 to one by any means.

But I mean if you have one highlight play from this team’s season that has to be Lamont Butler’s game winner to get them to the championship. So maybe him, maybe some Trammell. He’s played great while Matt Bradley’s done basically nothing, so lean towards Jordan Hawkins and Lamont Butler.

TJ Reeves:

A good question or an actual comment that’s in the chat. Derrick puts this comment, “After watching the women’s championship game with Iowa and LSU and how there were whistles about every 3.9 seconds,” Derek says, “I hope the refs are not like yesterday in the women’s game, let the players play.”

The [inaudible 00:25:37], there were 37 fouls called in the women’s game that is 10 more than, and it’s the women’s game, it’s not the men’s game. I understand. That’s 10 more fouls than any previous Final Four game ever in women’s basketball. That was also the most fouls ever called in any women’s NCAA tournament game, which they’ve only been playing the NCAA tournament since ’82, so 41 NCAA tournaments, that was the most foul calls in any game ever, 37 of them.

So it begs now, the mentality tonight, there’s been so much about the officiating in that game, the technical on Caitlin Clark, etc. Will it be a tightly cold game tonight? Everybody’s wondering. Thoughts on this, Corby?

Corby Craig:

I don’t think that they have very much crossover ref’s job is to do what he thinks is right, and so if this game’s played physical, then let’s call it physical. If it’s not, then by all means. I don’t think there’s going to be a preconceived notion of we’re going to call this game loose because everybody’s mad about the last game being called tight.

From watching highlights of that game, it seemed like it was pretty scrappy overall. So granted, there were a lot of fouls and I’m an advocate for letting people play. These were athletes who should be able to take a little bit of contact. There was too many foul calls, but at the same time it was a pretty scrappy game.

So a lot of fouls doesn’t blow my mind by any means, but I don’t think there’s any correlation here at all. This is just, if Sanogo drives the basket and lowers his shoulder, and the guy’s feet are set, it’s a charge, no matter what. It’s a ,charge and that’s the ref’s job is to try to call accurately what he’s watching.

TJ Reeves:

Clearly it would favor UConn because of the style of play of Connecticut if they’re calling it close early. Matt Josephs, any thoughts on whether it is related? I mean, officials are human beings, and they hear right now all the outcry for the refs that are working tonight. They hear all the outcry right now about how much the whistles blew in the women’s title game.

Matt Josephs:

I will disagree with you, TJ. I think a tighter call game benefits San Diego State only because Connecticut fouls too much, 313th in free throws attempted per field goals attempted. That means they’re fouling a lot, and if you’re San Diego State whose offense isn’t good as it is, and you’re going to struggle to run your sets and everything against a really good UConn defense, you’re going to welcome any sort of free points that you can get with the clock not running.

San Diego State’s a 72% free throw shooting team as it is. So I think a tighter call game benefits San Diego State who will struggle to score in the offense but will take advantage of free throws if UConn continues their tendencies of fouling too much.

TJ Reeves:

All right, and again, a couple more things about that women’s game. I mean it’s going to turn out to be probably the most highly rated women’s game ever. It was on network TV, and I watched almost all of it yesterday. It was played at a high level. LSU scored the most points ever in a women’s championship game, 102, bombing in three pointers. Iowa’s defense, not very good.

The officiating way too much. The technical foul call on Caitlin Clark for flipping the ball behind her, which wasn’t really a taunt or that big of a deal. It was big because that was her fourth foul. It then put her in jeopardy late in the third quarter of that game of fouling out from then on. So I thought it was too much.

There’s a lot being made of the taunting. We don’t have to go down that road, the whole bit. LSU clearly won the game. I know Angel Reese is standing right beside Caitlin Clark at the foul line in the final minute and was taunting her and doing the “don’t see me” thing. So that to me that was good enough. But then at the end of the game, you’re jumping around at her again, almost like you’re trying to provoke her or something, go celebrate with your teammates. It was too much on that.

But I think I will also share with this as somebody, I’m old enough to relate this, and Matt, you’re a little older. Corby, you’re not as old. When Kim Mulkey played, Kim Mulkey got technical fouls with Louisiana Tech. She was elbowing people. Matt Josephs, I don’t know how much you know about this or for the audience too, she was a fiery little five foot four player troublemaker.

Fiery, would take people on, shove people elbow, that’s how she played. So it’s not surprising that her team would tend to play physical or be animated or be whatever. That’s who she is. And you watched her on the sideline in that outfit yesterday, that’s what she’s been doing for 30 years as a coach, jumping up and down, going after the refs the whole bit. I was more surprised, guys, they didn’t warn her or tee her up for how she was acting with technical fouls being called on others in the game.

All right, so there’s some thoughts. Anything else on that? If either one of you want to jump in, I don’t want to monopolize that, but there’s a lot of attention on that women’s game, and it’s going to turn out when they release the ratings to be massively rated. Attention isn’t a bad thing for the women’s game and it looks like they’re going to break a ratings record. Any final thoughts just on that real quick? Anything else, guys?

Matt Josephs:

I mean, I enjoyed the game but it’s one of those things where I know Angel Reese got early foul trouble, and then of course Caitlin Clark had a lot of foul trouble. I just wish, and the problem is that LSU played so well in that game that the taunting at the end and the officiating is going to overshadow all of it.

It’s a shame because LSU was awesome, I mean, they were hitting shots that were incredible, especially that shot going into halftime. It’s just a shame that the other things right or wrong are going to overshadow how well they played there.

TJ Reeves:

How about Kim Mulkey’s the first ever women’s coach to win a title at two schools? Nobody else has wanted at two schools and for her Baylor, where she won three of them and now at LSU. Corby, any final thought on that? Or do you want to move on if we got another question or comment? Anything else?

Corby Craig:

I’ll move on.

TJ Reeves:

All good on that? All right, let me look in the comments here. Some people are going back and forth about what San Diego State did against Alabama back in the Sweet 16 in order to hold down firepower and three point shooting team. How much do you think, Corby Craig, that UConn has watched the Alabama game in particular, where Alabama plays a similar three-point centric style, and what San Diego State did, especially down the stretch of that game. How big of a factor is that a week later?

Corby Craig:

I’m sure they’re comparing it too, but this is something that San Diego State didn’t just do one time. They also played Furman the game before, and Furman was really good. They have, what, three really good guards who can shoot the ball pretty well. So I think this is less a schematic thing. This isn’t like you’re not looking to see what they did in this particular game. It’s more that they are built to play good defense, and so UConn plays their own game.

I think that if they try to play towards the idea that they can do X, Y, Z to beat San Diego State, they’re probably in the wrong. They’re in the driver’s seat of this game. That’s why the line is what it is, so they need to play their basketball. It should be a good game.

TJ Reeves:

Matt Josephs, the Alabama tape. How much bearing what the Aztecs did to Alabama defensively? Held them without a point what for about a five-minute stretch, got control of the game, held him down big time for whatever that’s worth. How much is it worth, do you think, for Monday night here in Houston?

Matt Josephs:

I mean, somewhat. I mean I just think you’re going to look at everything. I mean very few teams play like UConn does. So I think you look at that Alabama game, I mean Brandon Miller shoots three of 19. It doesn’t matter what kind of defense you play if he’s going to shoot that badly, like Alabama’s going to lose every time.

The difference is UConn can have a Hawkins shoot three of 19 and have Alleyne or have Jackson or have Karaban or somebody else step up. Alabama needed Brandon Miller to shoot better than he did in that game.

TJ Reeves:

A couple minutes left, I don’t know if we got time for another question or two. If you guys have it there, I bet you us send it on to us. A couple of more notes. Again, UConn going for a fourth national title in the state of Texas in the 2000s. Jim Calhoun got one in San Antonio in ’04. They got one in an ugly championship game in 2011 right here in Houston against Butler.

Then Kevin Ollie and the Shabazz Napier UConn Huskies defeated Kentucky in the title game in Arlington, Texas, 2014. And now UConn is won a semi-final game to be seven and oh in Texas as a program trying to be eight and oh with four national titles, if they can get it tonight. By the way, San Diego State bidding to become the first Western team, the first Mountain or Western Time Zone team to win the national championship since Arizona 1997.

How about that? That has been some 26 years since a Western team has won the title in any conference. That’s what San Diego State is looking to do for this one tonight. Anything else here? I think we are good on the different kinds.

Matt Josephs:

There is one more.

TJ Reeves:

You got something else? What else you got?

Matt Josephs:

Gabe keeps asking in the chat about the race to 20 with UConn minus. See, and here’s the thing, it’s minus 250 on BetUS.

TJ Reeves:


Matt Josephs:

I don’t like laying minus 250. I mean, what if San Diego State starts hot, what if something else happens? The only thing I would say is if you like that, maybe stretch it out a little further but then 30 is minus 170. So as somebody suggests in the chat, then just take UConn money line the first half, if you think that they’re going to race to 20. Most likely, they’re going to be winning by that time. And so just take them to win the first half. It’s about the same price and probably a little bit less risk.

TJ Reeves:

I agree with you. If UConn can get to 30 points, they’re going to be leading at halftime. You would think that’s the case. That’s not San Diego State’s pace, and you guys have preached that all year long on how the game’s being played to dictate with some of that. Anything else? For a final comment, Patrick says, “I’d love for San Diego State to win outright, but I love making money more. UConn money line is the play.” Set your feelings aside on national championship Monday night. Don’t bet with your heart, right, guys, on…

Matt Josephs:

UConn money line is minus 70. You win $13.51 on a $50 bet. I would almost say if you want to bet that, watch the game, hope San Diego State gets out to a lead, and then you can get a cheaper number on UConn, whether it’s their spread or their money line. I just-

TJ Reeves:

I can tell you, because you guys were preaching this, I was watching just on BetUS on the live betting, and once the game began again with Miami and Miami was getting, what, five and a half, once the game began and UConn hit the two threes right away, the live line immediately went up to 10 and a half. Went up by five points right away.

To your point, Matt Josephs, so if you’re laying seven and a half and they get up in the first segment or two of the game by eight or by 10, it clearly is going to be a 10 and a half, 12 and a half. Something’s going to be there for you if you believe in San Diego State as a second half team, just reporting back to you on what I saw on the BetUS live line as things were going.

Anything else? I think we’re good. Final thoughts here guys before we get to the best NCAAB prop bets and get out of here. Anything else on a final thought here for a final show on the Monday, Corby Craig?

Corby Craig:

Just back to that, to the race of 20. So if you’re ever going to raise variants, so a race to 20, anything can happen. They could hit five threes and be basically there. You always want to try to get with high variants, get high risk reward ratio, like minus 200 just isn’t worth it in that case.

It’s like that’s the issue with people betting like no score first innings. No score first inning gets such high variance. One issue there and you’re done, and so if you’re going to play these type of just one hit swings, you need to have at least decent odds to do so. 200 is not that. But-

TJ Reeves:

You’re going to make Matt smile. That’s like playing which elevator here at my hotel in Houston’s going to come down there first. What are you doing? I agree with you, Corby.

Corby Craig:

At minus 200. Hey, I would play which elevator at plus 300.

TJ Reeves:

A little better play on that. Let’s see. Trevor’s got one final comment there on what’s, I don’t know, about first half margin and something else there. Everybody’s getting their final comments. Matt Josephs’ final thoughts. We’ve come to the end, my friend. Final thoughts?

Matt Josephs:

It’s been fun doing the show this year, and it’s been fun providing information here for everybody and we love the people in the chat. I think it’s going to be a good game tonight. I think it’ll be tight. I definitely think there’ll be a live opportunity to bet UConn at a better number than you’re getting now.

If you’re a UConn person, I certainly wouldn’t lay the seven and a half. I hope that it’ll be close and then maybe it becomes like a three and a half or a four and then you get a better number. But I think it’s going to be a good game tonight. I think it’ll be a nice crown for a wacky college basketball season in which we at times didn’t see a best team in the nation.

TJ Reeves:

And it has been as unpredictable a year, a regular season with all the top 10 teams, all the top five teams losing to unranked teams in the regular season. And then we saw mayhem, including the likes of Florida Atlantic and Princeton and San Diego State making moves and getting into the Sweet 16, Elite Eight, and now San Diego State has a chance.

They would become the first non-Power Six, and I include the Big East in the Power six. They would become the first non-power six to win the national title since UNLV in 1990 and Denver, in the blowout of Duke. It has been a while. Can the Aztecs get it done? We will find out.

All right, best bets one more time. Let’s take a look here on the screen at what the guys are on. Corby’s on the side. He says Aztecs one more time to keep it close, if not win. Mid-Major Matt has a pair of props on three point shooting with Alex Karaban with Hawkins to both go over their three point shooting total in this game. He likes threes and more threes from UConn in the matchup.

Guys, we’ve come to the end. Now, the BetUS College Basketball Show. This is it. Final game tonight. What started for us in late October has ended here on April the third. Corby Craig, thank you. Matt Josephs, thank you. In the absence of Mattie Cox [inaudible 00:39:27] and also Kyle Hunter, thank you. Those guys are with me all year long for the handicapping.

Thank you to Kevin. Fantastic job putting up with us day after day. We didn’t drive him crazy. No loco, Kevin. We didn’t drive him crazy. He put up with us day after day throughout the year. Francisco, Danny, Natalie, everybody behind the scenes, Antonio, Alejandro, everybody helping us out at BetUS.

The graphics you see and everything that goes into this show takes a couple of hours to put together and do every day. They did a great job with this. So thank you to everybody that’s helped us out with the show.

Now, if you want more Corby Craig, he’s on the BetUS Baseball show. In fact, he’s coming up live in just a little bit. He’s got the bat out. Look out, MLB show.

Corby Craig:

Monday, Wednesday, Friday.

TJ Reeves:

Monday, Wednesday, Friday. It’s off and running. Check out Corby. Matt Josephs, have a great off season for the hoops. We’ll see what happens tonight. Thank you everybody for watching the BetUS College Basketball Show all year long. Remember to checkout our sportsbook website. I am merely TJ Reeves. Let’s see if we get a good one tonight, UConn and San Diego State. We thank you for watching here on BetUS, the College Basketball Show, all year long.


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