#6 San Diego (16-15, 7-11) vs. #3 San Francisco (20-10, 13-5)
Date: Saturday, March 8th, 2014
Location: Orleans Arena, Las Vegas, Nev.
Time: 12:00 PM PST
This Season: USF won 64-62 at home and 74-67 at San Diego.
Keys To The Game
No Easy Baskets
In their 64-62 loss this year at San Francisco, the Toreros let the Dons shoot 23-43 (53.5%) from the field, and 6-11 (54.5%) from three. USF is really strong inside, but if USD bigs Dennis Kramer and Jito Kok can handle the likes of Cole Dickerson and Kruize Pinkins down low, then they will give them a good chance to win this ball game.
Strong Perimeter Defense
USF is a very good and efficient offensive team, ranking 45th in the country in offensive efficiency according to KenPom. However, they rank only 151 in defensive efficiency, and USD can take advantage of that, especially with hot shooting. If USF can contain Johnny Dee and Chris Anderson, they can rely on their strength down low and dominate the pace of this game.
Brett Bailey vs. Kruize Pinkins
Brett Bailey is a new addition to the starting lineup for USD, as the freshman has only started 6 games this year. USF plays with 3 bigs, and Bailey will likely have to start on Pinkins, who has had monster games for the Dons in the past. Bailey is very athletic, which can be a problem for Pinkins, but Pinkins is much stronger than Bailey down low. It will be interesting to see how this matchup is exploited by both coaches.
USD has played better as of late, winning 3 in a row before dropping an 8 point decision against surging BYU. Johnny Dee and Chris Anderson have both had amazing years in conference play. On the other hand, USF has had an amazing year, and I think they are one of the most underrated teams in the country. WCC Coach of the Year Rex Walters has done a phenomenal job with this group, and they want to make some noise in this tournament. USF 72, USD 65.