Rovell: San Diego State vs. UConn National Championship Game Prediction

Rovell: San Diego State vs. UConn National Championship Game Prediction article feature image

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It’s the final game of the year and the public thinks it might be one of the easiest games to call this March Madness. At BetMGM, 81% of the money is on UConn.

That’s no surprise. UConn has won their five tournament games by 25, 15, 23, 28 and 13. San Diego State meanwhile has won their last two games by just one point.

There have been five teams that have come into the championship game having won their previous five tournament games by at least 13 points. Of those five, four won the title — 2000 Michigan State, 2001 Duke, 2009 UNC and 2018 Villanova.

The other? 2016 UNC, which went down to Villanova on a Kris Jenkins, buzzer beater 3-pointer in the greatest national championship game finish of all-time.

But we don’t want to take UConn -375 tonight. We want to play the spread one way or the other.

So let’s look back at those teams that steamrolled their way to the national championship game.

Did they continue that trend in the title game?

Out of the teams to win, all of them prevailed by at least double digits.

  • 2000 Michigan State won by 13
  • 2001 Duke won by 10
  • 2009 UNC won by 17
  • 2016 UNC lost by 3
  • 2018 Villanova won by 17

And let’s look at how they did against expectations.

  • 2000 Michigan State (-4)
  • 2001 Duke (-3.5)
  • 2009 UNC (-7.5)
  • 2016 UNC (-2.5)
  • 2018 Villanova (-7)

So when teams like this win the national championship, they win big. The other time, they ran into a buzzsaw of a buzzer beater.

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I respect San Diego State’s defense and also appreciate how Bradley, Butler, Trammell, LeDee, Mensah and Arop can step up at any time and wind up with 15.

But championship games are made for offensive talents that cannot be stopped and the Aztecs don’t have those players.

UConn — in Sanogo and Harkins — does.

I think -7.5 is a little high, but I'll put some on the Huskies pregame. Would love for them to go down at some point so I can get their spread live under -6.

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Doug Ziefel
Jun 13, 2024 UTC