After a month full of madness, the 2023 NCAA Tournament is entering its final stages. The South No. 5 seed San Diego State basketball team is preparing to face the East No. 9 seed Florida Atlantic Owls on Saturday, kicking off the Final Four round.

The Aztecs are 31-6 in the season, which included taking home the Mountain West Tournament trophy. In the conference championship game, they defeated Utah State 62-57.

So far in the NCAA Tournament, San Diego State basketball has beaten the College of Charleston, Furman, No. 1 Alabama and Creighton. Most notably, the Aztecs had a major 71-64 upset over the Crimson Tide, who was considered one of the frontrunners for the title.

On the other side of the matchup, they will have the surprising Owls ahead of them. Florida Atlantic won the Conference USA this year and has defeated three nationally ranked programs throughout March Madness.

Fortunately for the Aztecs, they have Matt Bradley on their side. The guard is averaging a team-high 12.5 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists.

Although he is leading the squad on many offensive statistics, he is struggling in the Big Dance. In the tournament, he is putting up just 8.8 points and making 31% of his field goals. Because of that, other players have stepped up.

With that being said, here is San Diego State's X-factor versus Florida Atlantic in the 2023 NCAA Tournament's Final Four.

San Diego State Basketball's X-Factor: F Nathan Mensah

Bradley is the only player on San Diego State basketball's roster who is averaging double digits in points. Since he is not having the best March Madness, other Aztecs are taking an offensive leap.

Live and breathe sports?

🚨 Get viral graphics, memes, rumors and trending sports news delivered right to your inbox with the Clutch Newsletter.

Micah Parrish had 16 points in the second round, Darrion Trammell scored 21 points in the Sweet 16 and Lamont Butler led the way with 18 points in the Elite Eight.

While some players are getting more recognition with their offensive takeovers, one Aztec is shining on the other side of the ball.

In his fifth year with the team, Nathan Mensah is averaging 6.1 points, 5.9 boards and 0.6 assists. He is shooting 53.5% from the field and 64.8% from the free-throw line. Most importantly, he is registering 1.7 blocks per game, the only player on the roster with such a mark this season.

In the NCAA Tournament, Mensah's personal scoring best is only eight points against Creighton. However, his impact on defense has been crucial to the team's surprising campaign. He is putting up 3.0 blocks per game, with his best performance coming against Alabama when he blocked five shots.

Mensah is also being active close to the rim. He is grabbing 6.8 rebounds per game in the Big Dance, helping the Aztecs outrebound their opponents in three out of the four games in the tournament, including against No. 1 Alabama.

Against Florida Atlantic basketball, San Diego State will need Mensah more than ever. The Owls have three players averaging 5.0 rebounds or more. Additionally, center Vladislav Goldin could become a problem close to the basket. This means that the Mensah-Goldin battle could be a deciding factor in the game.

At the end of the day, the Aztecs will need to have a great defensive performance on Saturday. Without many elite scorers, it could come down to their ability to stop the Owls.

All things considered; Nathan Mensah is the team's X-factor in the Final Four. His rim protection could make Florida Atlantic's life more complicated, which could hurt them down the line.

Should Mensah have another strong defensive performance, San Diego State will be in a good position to advance to the championship game.