Betting: Pros and Cons of Final Four teams
Mark Drumheller breaks down the Final Four teams that will play in Houston on Saturday in the NCAA Tournament.
MARK DRUMHELLER: The Final Four is upon us, and here are the future odds for the four remaining teams. UConn is the favorite at minus 125, San Diego State, plus 375, followed by Miami, plus 475. And rounding it out with Florida Atlantic, plus 625. Here are the strengths and weaknesses for each team.
UConn is their talent edge. They're the best remaining team in the field, and they've played like the best team in the nation over the past two months. Sanogo, one of the most dominant players in the country down low. Jordan Hawkins is shooting 51% from 3-point range in the tournament, and they have an elite stopper in Andre Jackson. They have everything you need to win a national championship.
The one concern with UConn is they're untested late in games, and that's a drawback from when you're blowing teams out consistently. Last time we saw them in a competitive one-possession game was against Marquette in the Big East Tournament where they did end up on the losing end. Whether they can pull it out late in games is something better should definitely keep an eye on.
San Diego State-- one of their biggest advantages is their defense, especially their ability to make teams uncomfortable from the perimeter. Alabama shot 3 for 27 from 3-point range, and Creighton shot only 2 for 17 from beyond the arc. They forced teams to beat them in their style of game that they're most comfortable in, and so far, it's worked.
The concern with the Aztecs is their inconsistent shooting. Can you trust them to score enough to win a national championship? Bradley and Trammell shot a combined 6 for 22 from the floor against Creighton. 57 points was enough this time, but is it going to be enough in the Final Four against the country's best teams? Miami-- their biggest advantage is their elite guard play. Jordan Miller was a perfect 7 for 7 from the floor and 13 for 13 from the line. All four starting guards scored 14 or more points against Texas, and Miami scored 51 points in the second half in their comeback against the Longhorns.
The concern with Miami is going to be their defense. The Hurricanes rank outside of the top 100 in defensive efficiency. They play a small lineup that is extremely reliant on keeping Omier out of foul trouble. That is definitely going to be a challenge against UConn and whoever they face in the finals if they're able to survive and advance.
FAU's biggest advantage is their mental toughness. FAU came back from halftime deficits against both Memphis and Tennessee and trailed by as much as 7 points in the last 12 minutes against Kansas State. They never panic under pressure, and the Owls are 11 and 1 in games decided by 5 or less points.
The concern with the Owls is their reliance on outside shooting. They shoot more 3's than anyone in the field, and they get to the free throw line the least out of any of the remaining teams as well. Against the better teams, they're going to have to be able to dribble, drive, and penetrate into the lane to create offense. Can they do it is the main question out there.
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