NCAA Tournament Betting — Can New Mexico State Impose its Size Upon San Diego State?

In this NCAA Tournament field, there is no team that is bigger across the front line that the New Mexico State Aggies. On Thursday night they take to the floor as a 13th seed against the fourth-seeded San Diego State Aztecs in college basketball betting action that is set to tip off at 9:55 PM ET at the Spokane Arena in Spokane, WA.

New Mexico State is 26-9 straight-up on the season, and they have covered eight of the 13 games that have been posted in the basketball lines. San Diego State, which is ranked 13th in the USA Today coaches’ poll and 11th by the Associated Press, is 29-4 straight-up and 18-12 against the basketball pointspread.

In the NCAA Tournament betting odds that have been posted at Bookmaker on this game, the Aztecs are laying what some people might consider to be a reasonable number:

San Diego State Aztecs -7
New Mexico State Aggies +7

Over 128 points -110
Under 128 points -110

Marvin Menzies, formerly an assistant to Steve Fisher at San Diego State, has out together a roster at New Mexico State that has a real international flavor, including many Canadians. One of them is Daniel Mullings, who is tremendous at slashing to the basket but largely lacks the ability to score from the outside. That might make him an easier player for SDSU’s Xavier Thames to defend.

No basketball bettor should make any mistake about the fact that the Aztecs are one of the hardest teams in the country to score upon, as they have allowed just 38.4% shooting on the part of opponents. That doesn’t necessarily mean they want to slow things to a crawl, although that is indeed what has happened in their battles against New Mexico, which have all gone under the total as it has been posted in the basketball lines at Bookmaker.

It is on offense where the Aztecs might struggle, because they are not, by nature, a very good shooting squad, making just 43.7% of their attempts overall. And in the half-court, they are going to experience a lot of problems going into the lane against an Aggie club that starts forwards who are 6-’10” and 6’9″, in addition to one of the nation’s premier shot-blockers in 7’5″ Canadian mountain Sim Bhullar, who swatted away 3.5 shots per game this season.

What SDSU has is the ability to turn defense into offense and get out into the transition game. And when that happens, it is going to be a problem for NMSU to keep up with them. Bhullar, for all his virtue as a defender, and even a post-up center on offense (you’ll see a few moves from him), does not have the ability to get up and down the court on a sustained basis, or to play a whole lot of minutes at a time. In other words, Bookmaker customers might expect that San Diego State will have a big edge in speed and quickness. And they press the ball, which is more of a problem for the Aggies than it may have been before, because NMSU’s starting point guard, KC Ross-Miller, is done for the year, having been suspended for starting an on-court brawl against Utah Valley State.

And let’s not forget the athleticism in the paint on the part of Skylar Spencer, who supplied SDSU with a genuine shot-blocking threat (2.5 per game). He can beat Bhullar up and down the floor.
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