BYU vs. #18 SDSU: Game Preview, TV, Radio, Odds & More
BYU heads to the Mesa to play undefeated #18 San Diego State. Can the Cougars upset the red-hot Aztecs?
The Aztecs have garnered national status after dominating two Top 25 teams and not missing a step post- Flynn.
San Diego, CA- The San Diego State Aztecs (5-0, 0-0 MWC) and BYU Cougars (6-2, 0-0 WCC) face off Friday night on Montezuma Mesa. While this is billed to be a battle between two of the top non-power-6 teams in the country, it might be a bit premature to give BYU such credit. San Diego State is, nonetheless, on the rise.
WHO: BYU (6-2, 0-0 WCC) at #18 SDSU (5-0, 0-0 MWC)
WHEN: Friday, December 18th, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. PST | 5:00 p.m. EST
WHERE: Viejas Arena at Aztec Bowl in San Diego, CA
WATCH: CBS Sports Network
LISTEN: 1360-AM, 101.5-FM
ALL-TIME RECORD: Brigham Young leads the all-time series against San Diego State at 48-25. The current streak is W4: San Diego State.
ODDS VIA BETMGM: San Diego State -7.5
After years of being a Mountain West “programma non grata,” BYU has gradually woven its way back into the fold with old conference rivals- the greatest being San Diego State. Legendary basketball has gone down between these two programs over the years, including the epic battles that raged when Kawhi Leonard and Jimmer Fredette faced off together.
In 2020, we will witness the Battle of the Seniors. BYU’s Alex Barcello, Matt Haarms and Brandon Averette collectively make up 43 percent of the team’s scoring this season, managing 59 percent of all Cougars points over the last five games. Barcello has connected a whopping 62.2 percent of the 37 3-pointers he’s attempted including 12 of 22 over his last five games. Guarding him will be key for SDSU.
SDSU’s Jordan Schakel and Nathan Mensah shot a combined 59% of the field against ASU, making up 42 points in the game. Mensah also added 15 boards, and registered a double-double before the half against the ranked Sun Devils squad. The Aztecs will need NBA prospect Matt Mitchell to bring his senior swagger as well tomorrow night.
In addition to being a national Top-20 team right now, the Aztecs are 26th in the country in defensive turnover percentage and the 9th most experienced team in the country, per KenPom.
The BYU Cougars will be looking to build on the momentum of taking down Utah (82-64), so the Aztecs will have to crush their confidence.
The Cougars have lost a step in three-point shooting as of late, though. Last year BYU was the number one, according to Kenpom. This year they have dropped all the way to 108th.
This should be an interesting game with one of the nation’s most energized teams playing formidable opposition. San Diego State has taken down two ranked Pac-12 powerhouses in the aforementioned ASU- and UCLA. Even with BYU’s victory against Utah, they will be playing on the road, and San Diego State has endless, endless, waves of talented scorers and defenders.
The Aztecs will focus on stymying the Cougars’ most prolific players. If they can shut down Barcello, just as they did to ASU’s Remy Martin, BYU’s momentum will be disrupted. Defense, domination on the boards, fresh legs and raining threes: the Aztecs will be relentless and will overwhelm the Cougars, sending them back to Provo with their fifth straight series loss.
Aztecs 80, Cougars 67
The Aztecs host St. Mary’s on December 22nd at 6 p.m. PST / 9 p.m. EST in their final non-conference game.