The battle for the Great Alaskan Shootout Championship! Remember when this entire tournament used to be on ESPN and the video quality was better than an NES game?
This is the first real test of the season for the Cougs. San Diego is probably the better team, having knocked off several big names so far this season. Brandon Johnson is excellent at point guard. He is a game-changer and they type of guy that take over and carry his team to victory.
The Toreros are very small. The starting guards are all under 6'2", and the frontcourt guys are a slim 6'7" and 6'9". The size is a very good matchup for the Cougs. Klay Thompson and Marcus Capers need to use that advantage to get to the free throw line.
San Diego has been very good defensively. They rank 21st in the nation for adjusted defensive efficiency. The Cougs are 27th in the nation in offensive efficiency. Something has to give! My guess is that the Cougs perform a little bit better than some of San Diego's other opponents because of their ability to draw fouls and earn free throws. The problem is they will give up that advantage on the other end of the court when they are guarding.
This will be a battle and potentially could be a very close game. If Wazzu is able to emerge victorious, they will have a very solid bullet point for the resume.