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NCAAB Championship: Men's last four preview

The men's tournament heads to Houston this weekend as 68 teams have been whittled down to four for the national semifinals.

This year's edition has been an incredible tournament packed with upsets. Brackets were busted in the first round as Fairleigh Dickinson became just the second 16-seed in tournament history to take out a top seed, with their 63-58 win over Purdue.

All of the top seeds were eliminated by the regional finals, and none of the teams remaining entered the tournament as a 3-seed or better.

Florida Atlantic are the lowest ranked side remaining having entered the East regional as 9-seeds and they face San Diego State in the last four on Saturday, while Connecticut take on Miami later that day for a place in Monday's Championship game.

Uconn look the team to beat

Uconn are one of the big names in Division I basketball as they are bidding to win a fifth national title but they have struggled in recent years. Connecticut went into the dance seeking to end a run of successive first round exits but there were no signs of any early jitters as they claimed a 24-point win over Iona in their tournament opener.

A 70-55 win over Saint Mary's followed and they then secured another big win over Arkansas in the last 16, winning by a 24-point margin. A match-up with Gonzaga looked a big test for their quarterfinal assignment but they produced an almost complete performance, dismantling the Zags 82-54.

Uconn have some incredible talent on their roster and 20-year-old guard Jordan Hawkins is their main offensive threat, having hit 20 points in the win over Gonzaga. 

Adama Sanogo has also enjoyed an impressive tournament and as Dan Hurley's team have won all of their games so far in convincing fashion they look worthy favorites for overall glory ahead of the semi-finals - but last four opponents Miami shouldn't be underestimated.

Miami fell at the quarter-finals last year and clearly felt they had a point to prove. They entered the tournament as 5-seeds in the Midwest region and navigated a tricky first round tie with Drake with relative ease, before taking out Indiana and then top seeds Houston 89-75. Miami were given a stern test in the last eight but they battled to an 88-81 win over Texas.

Nijel Pack is the star man in the Miami team and he was named the MOP in the Midwest regional but he has an exceptional supporting cast. Jordan Miller and Isaiah Wong were named alongside Pack in the regional all-tournament team, with the former enjoying an astonishing perfect shooting game in the win over Texas with 27 points on 100 per-cent shooting from the field and the foul line.

The winner of this semi-final will surely be heavily fancied to then go on and take the title but Uconn are rated as the clear frontrunners ahead of this last four meeting. 

A win for Uconn in the Money Line is -250 and they are -110 with a -5.5 handicap in the Spread, while Miami are +210 in the Money Line and Pack is -115 to score over 14.5 points.

Related College Basketball News

Men's NCAAB Championship: The favourites to win it all

NCAAB Championship: Standout performers from the men's last eight

NCAAB Championship: Women's last four preview

FAU and San Diego State chasing history

FAU reached the NCAAB Championship for just the second time in school history this season and their first round win over Memphis marked their first ever tournament win. This Florida Atlantic team have already made history, but they have a chance to really write their name in Division 1 folklore if they can become the lowest ranked team to win the championship.

After beating Memphis and Fairleigh Dickinson, FAU faced a big test against Tennessee and they managed to record a 62-55 win. In the quarter-finals they came up against Kansas State and Markquis Nowell. The Kansas State guard did manage an impressive 30-point haul, but FAU still managed to edge the game with a three-point win.

Guard Johnell Davis and 7'1'' center Vladislav Goldin have been the star men for FAU in March and their success has been built partly on effort and athletic ability, but they still find themselves rated as the underdogs against a quality San Diego State outfit.

Florida Atlantic have a strong defense, but SDSU have an exceptional one and were perhaps unlucky to only be rated as the 5-seeds in the South regional.

San Diego State survived a potential first round upset with victory over a Charleston side who had only lost three times all season before taking out Furman convincingly. SDSU then overcame one of the pre-tournament favorites in Alabama, before a one-point win over Creighton in the quarterfinals.

SDSU were far from their best in the last eight but the fact they managed to claim a win perhaps shows just how strong their defensive play is and since the start of the Mountain West Tournament only two of their seven opponents have managed to score over 60 points, while none have managed more than 65.

SDSU's backcourt duo of Darrion Trammell and Lamont Butler have been their stars during the postseason run, with the latter scoring a game-high 18 points in the win over Creighton.

San Diego State are -130 to win in the Money Line on Saturday and Florida Atlantic can be backed at +110, Butler can be backed at -130 to score over 8.5 points for SDSU and FAU's Goldin is -135 to record over 6.5 rebounds.

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