2023 cbhsports men’s NCAA College Basketball Tournament Final 4 Preview

Image Courtesy: USA Today

9.Florida Atlantic vs. 5.San Diego State
NRG Stadium (Houston, TX)
April 1, 6:09 PM ET, CBS
Nine seed Florida Atlantic should have been eliminated in the first round. Memphis had a lead in the final seconds and had called a timeout. But, the refs did not see it that way. Since, FAU has taken down those Memphis Tigers, sixteen seed Farleigh Dickinson, Tennessee, and finally Kansas State in the Elite 8. Those four NCAA Tournament wins have helped the Owls to 35 wins. The last time a team won at least 35 games in college basketball, Virginia won it all in 2019. Can FAU have the same success as they are set to make their first Final Four ever? Guard Johnell Davis has been tremendous for them in NCAA Tournament, scoring 29 points in their Round of 32 win over FDU. San Diego State dispatched College of Charleston and Furman relatively easily in the first two rounds but then answered every run by top overall seed Alabama in the Sweet 16 and Creighton in the Elite 8. Every Aztec has seemingly made an impact but guards Matt Bradley (17 points in Round of 64), Darrion Trammell (21 points in Sweet 16), and Lamont Butler (led team in assists twice in tournament) as well as big man Nathan Mensa (6 rebounds, 2 blocks per game), have been huge down the stretch. With both teams being tough teams with good defenses, this one will come down to the wire. Projected Score: San Diego State 65, Florida Atlantic 62

4.Connecticut vs. 5.Miami
NRG Stadium (Houston, TX)
April 1, 8:49 PM ET, CBS
Connecticut was crushing people in November and December. The Huskies had a tough time at the start of Big East play. Now they have won every one of their NCAA Tournament games by 15 or more. Sharp shooter Jordan Hawkins (24 points versus Arkansas in the Sweet 16 and 20 points versus Gonzaga in the Elite 8), big man Adama Sanogo (averaging a double double in the tournament), and point forward Andre Jackson (31 assists to just 6 turnovers in the entire tournament). They are the clear favorites to win it all entering the weekend. Miami almost lost to twelve seed Drake in the first round before playing tremendous offensive games against Houston and Texas. For Miami, forward Norchad Omier, guard Isaiah Wong, and guard Nijel Pack are dangerous enough offensively to at least make this a game in the second half and potentially win a game many do not think they can. Projected Score: Connecticut 87, Miami 72

By Carter Huff

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