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San Diego State or UAB? How to pick 5 vs 12 matchup in 2024 March Madness bracket | Sporting News



The 2023 NCAA Tournament runner-ups are slotted for a classic March Madness upset matchup.

San Diego State was given a No. 5 seed after falling in the Mountain West championship game to New Mexico. Its first-round opponent will be No. 12 UAB, who pulled off a surprise run to claim an automatic bid by winning the AAC championship.

The Aztecs still have a couple of players from last year’s team that went to the national championship, headlined by senior forward Jaedon LeDee and senior guard Lamont Butler. The Blazers are led by junior forward Yaxel Lendeborg, who parlayed an AAC Defensive Player of the Year award into MVP of the AAC tournament.

Who should you pick in this No. 5 vs. No. 12 seed game? The Sporting News breaks it all down below.

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San Diego State vs. UAB odds


San Diego State is favored to beat UAB, according to odds from BetMGM.

Below, you can find odds and details about the first-round matchup, including time, date and TV channel. We also have a full betting preview for San Diego State vs. UAB that breaks down the game from every angle.

  • Odds: San Diego State -6.5
  • Date: Friday, March 22
  • Time: 1:45 p.m. ET
  • TV: TNT
  • Arena: Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena, Spokane, WA

San Diego State (24-10, 11-7 Mountain West)

San Diego State comes into 2024 March Madness as one of the most experienced tournament teams in the country. Jaedon LeDee, LaMont Butler, Micah Parrish and Darrion Trammell are all returners from last year’s team that fell in the national championship to UConn.

LeDee is San Diego State’s leading scorer with 21.1 points per game. Butler is one of the best perimeter defenders in the country, taking home Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year.

The Aztecs weren’t as dominant this season, but they still reached the Mountain West tournament championship. A disappointing loss to New Mexico will have this veteran squad ready to bounce back in March Madness.

  • NET ranking: 20
  • KenPom ranking:
  • Quad 1 record: 4-9
  • Quad 2 record: 6-1
  • Quad 3 record: 6-0
  • Quad 4 record: 6-0
  • Offensive efficiency ranking: 62
  • Defensive efficiency ranking: 9

Key players

Jaedon LeDee (6-9, 249-pound senior forward)

21.1 PTS, 8.4 REB, 1.4 AST, 1.2 STL

Lamont Butler (6-2, 200-pound senior guard)

9.2 PTS, 2.9 AST, 2.6 REB, 1.5 STL

Micah Parrish (6-6, 180-pound senior forward)

9.6 PTS, 4.1 REB, 1.8 AST, 1.1 STL

Darrion Trammell (5-10, 165-pound senior guard)

7.8 PTS, 3.3 AST, 2.4 REB, 1.2 STL

Reese Dixon-Waters (6-5, 210-pound junior guard)

10.1 PTS, 3.7 REB, 1.2 AST

STREAM: Watch 2024 NCAA Tournament games live with Sling

UAB (23-11, 12-6 AAC)

UAB is riding the high of winning the American Athletic Conference tournament championship in its first year in the league. After years of success in C-USA, the Blazers rose to the challenge of a tougher conference to clinch an automatic bid for March Madness.

The Blazers are led by junior forward Yaxel Lendeborg, who averages a double-double of 13.9 points and 10.7 rebounds per game. He is UAB’s most versatile weapon, also posting 2.1 blocks per game to take home AAC Defensive Player of the Year.

Lendeborg is flanked by junior guards Eric Ganes and Alejandro Vasquez, who have been major impact players for the Blazers out of the transfer portal.

UAB already stole a bubble team’s bid with their AAC title. Can they pull off an upset against last year’s national champion runner-ups?

  • NET ranking: 104
  • KenPom ranking:
  • Quad 1 record: 0-4
  • Quad 2 record: 7-3
  • Quad 3 record: 9-2
  • Quad 4 record: 6-2
  • Offensive efficiency ranking: 59
  • Defensive efficiency ranking: 202

Key players

Yaxel Lendeborg (6-9, 230-pound junior forward)

13.9 PTS, 10.7 REB, 2.1 AST, 2.1 BLK

Eric Gaines (6-2, 155-pound junior guard)

12.2 PTS, 5.5 AST, 3.9 REB, 2.4 STL

Efrem Johnson (6-4, 180-pound sophomore guard)

10.9 PTS, 2.3 REB, 1.7 AST

Alejandro Vasquez (6-3, 200-pound junior guard)

11.3 PTS, 3.5 REB, 1.1 AST

Javian Davis (6-9, 242-pound senior forward)

9.0 PTS, 5.7 REB, 1.1 AST

MORE: Buy tickets to 2024 March Madness games

San Diego State vs. UAB prediction

You might be itching to pick a 12-over-5 upset, but there are better options than this one. San Diego State should defeat UAB and cover the 6.5-point spread.

Even coming off of a loss in their conference tournament championship, the Aztecs are a battle-tested team that has already proven capable of making a Cinderella run. They have a strong foundation with upperclassmen guards, a 20-point-per-game scorer and one of the best defenses in the country.

MORE: Full San Diego State vs. UAB betting preview

Lendeborg will have his hands full trying to shut down LeDee and that could impact Lendeborg’s offensive game. Expect Butler to take his matchup with Gaines personally, trying to shut down UAB’s best backcourt weapon.

The Blazers’ AAC tournament run was fun, but San Diego State will show UAB that there is a different level to winning NCAA Tournament games.

16 vs. 1 | 15 vs. 2 | 14 vs. 3 | 13 vs. 4 | 12 vs. 5

History of 5 vs. 12 matchups in NCAA Tournament

Here’s a look back at all the 12 over 5 upsets since 2010.

Year Result
2022 Richmond 67, Iowa 63
2022 New Mexico State 70, UConn 63
2021 Oregon State 70, Tennessee 56
2019 Murray State 83, Marquette 64
2019 Liberty 80, Mississippi State 76
2019 Oregon 72, Wisconsin 54
2017 Middle Tennessee 81, Minnesota 72
2016 Yale 79, Baylor 75
2016 Little Rock 85, Purdue 83 (2 OTs)
2014 Stephen F. Austin 77, VCU 75 (OT)
2014 North Dakota State 80, Oklahoma 75 (OT)
2014 Harvard 61, Cincinnati 57
2013 Oregon 68, Oklahoma State 55
2013 California 64, UNLV 61
2013 Ole Miss 57, Wisconsin 46
2012 VCU 62, Wichita State 59
2012 South Florida 58, Temple 44
2011 Richmond 69, Vanderbilt 66
2010 Cornell 78, Temple 65
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