Mar 28, 2023
Mar 28, 2023

NCAA Final Four predictions

NCAA predictions

San Diego State Aztecs vs. Florida Atlantic Owls predictions

UConn Huskies vs. Miami Hurricanes predictions

NCAA Final Four predictions

Inform your NCAA Final Four predictions ahead of this week's matches with Pinnacle's weekly update, including analysis, team news, and the latest basketball odds.

This 2023 NCAA Tournament has quite simply had it all - other than a No. 1 seed in the Final Four, of course. In fact, no No. 1 seed even reached the Elite Eight. Everything else, though? We’ve seen it.

A No. 16 seed upset a No. 1 seed for the second time in history, as Fairleigh Dickinson stunned Purdue. And a No. 15 seed (Princeton) went all the way to the Sweet 16.

UConn are the only team that have ever been to the Final Four.

Although there are no double-digit seeds in the Final Four, you could say that one Cinderella story is still alive. The Florida Atlantic Owls, a No. 9 seed, have advanced to the national semi-finals for the first time in history.

In fact, UConn (No. 4 seed) are the only team that have ever been to the Final Four. Miami (No. 5) and San Diego State (No. 5) are also making their first appearances. For the first time ever, there is not a single Final Four team seeded No. 3 or better.

Needless to say, things could get crazy in Houston. If there is one thing we have learned from the latest chapter of March Madness, it’s to expect the unexpected. There’s no telling what will transpire this weekend, but let’s try to sort it out.

San Diego State Aztecs vs. Florida Atlantic Owls predictions

This Final Four is not for everyone. Last year’s national semi-finals were a ratings bonanza, with North Carolina and Duke going head-to-head in the NCAA Tournament for the first time, and fellow blue bloods Kansas and Villanova rounding out the lineup.

FAU rank in the 97th percentile in rim defence

The 2023 festivities won’t draw nearly as much attention or make as many headlines. This Final Four is, however, for college basketball diehards. If you like new energy in addition to fundamentals and defence, the first of Saturday’s two games is for you.

San Diego State have been shutting down their opponents throughout the Big Dance. Nathan Mensah is a force in the paint, and ranks 13th nationally in block rate according to KenPom.

Meanwhile, only once in four NCAA Tournament games have Florida Atlantic allowed more than 70 points (to Kansas State). Tennessee scored a mere 55 in its second-round loss to the Owls.

Led by Vladislav Goldin down low, FAU rank in the 97th percentile in rim defence according to Synergy. Even with a relatively low total of 132 points, going under the total at 1.917* still looks like the play to make. 

UConn Huskies vs. Miami Hurricanes predictions

Who had only one Power Five conference team in the Final Four? Probably no one. And who had that one Power Five team being Miami? Definitely no one. But if you start over and fill out the bracket the rest of the way with these Final Four representatives, you might just want to put the Hurricanes as your champions. 

Head coach Jim Larrañaga is back in the national semi-finals for the first time since taking upstart George Mason to college basketball’s promised land in 2006.

This time he has a legitimate chance to win it all. His team went 15-5 in the ACC, and in an upset-filled NCAA Tournament they navigated by far the toughest path en route to the Final Four.

The Hurricanes survived a dreaded 5-12 matchup with Creighton, ousted No. 4 seed Indiana, upset No. 1 Houston, and then came back from double-digits down in the second half to stun No. 2 Texas.

It is true that UConn are red hot right now, but giving 5.5 points to Isaiah Wong, Jordan Miller and company is probably too many. Miami might just win this one outright.

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