Betting The Bracket: March 14th - First Four
Oh baby, it's go time. No better place to get the pallet wet then the First Four. Some solid matchups to play into the Big Dance and I am ready to watch a ton of basketball this week. Let's dive into the two matchups for today.
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16th Seeds Matchup - Southeast Missouri State vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
Moneyline: SEMO: (+152) | TAMCC (-180)
Spread: SEMO: +4 (-110) | TAMCC -4 (-110)
Total: 155 - Over: (-110) | Under: (-110)
Who gets the lovely pleasure of taking on the Crimson Tide?! Our intro game into the tournament, a first-four matchup between the OVC Tournament winners Southeast Missouri State and the Southland Conference champs, Texas A&M Corpus-Christi.
SEMO is making their first trip to the Big Dance since 2000, and the Islanders are in the tournament for the second straight season. However, both are a combined 0-3 on the big state.
To kick things off with the TAMCC Islanders, they'll be without the Southland DPOY, Terrion Murdix. The guard suffered a season ending knee injury in the championship game, and that's a brutal loss for the squad. They still have Isaac Mushila, who leads the team with 13.2 points and 9.4 rebounds. They also have Jalen Jackson and Ross Williams, who combined are averaging 16.7 points and were on fire for the Southland Tourney. They come in as the favorites of this matchup, and rightfully so. They've won 12 of their last 12 games, have been good for most of the season, and have four more conference wins than their opponent. The Islanders convert 16.3 free throws per game (6th in the country).
For SEMO, Phillip Russell may be the star of this matchup. The Sophomore guard is averaging 18.2 points, five assists, 2.9 rebounds and 1.5 steals. He is coming off a 21-point, four-assist, two-steal and two-rebound performance in the OVC Championship. They also have guys like guard Chris Harris, who is is averaging 15.4 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.9 assists and one steal per game. SEMO is 7th in adjusted tempo in the country, they are going to play fast.
Texas A&M Corpus Christi is 5-1-1 ATS in their last 7 games.
TAMCC is 12-1 in their last 13 games.
TAMCC Over (155) is 3-5 in their last 8 games.
SEMO is 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games.
SEMO is is 7-5 in their last 13 games.
SEMO Over (155) is 5-3 in their last 8 games.
Texas A&M Corpus Christi ML
11th Seeds Matchup - Pittsburgh vs. Mississippi State
Moneyline: PITT: (+125) | MSST (-145)
Spread: PITT: +2.5 (-110) | MSST -2.5 (-110)
Total: 132.5 - Over: (-110) | Under: (-110)
Now we're heading into some heat. Little ACC vs. SEC matchup for the play in! The winner of this will face No. 6 seed Iowa State.
Pitt went 14-6 in ACC play but just got embarrassed in the quarterfinals by Duke. They still were a top five team in the conference, despite their recent struggles. Blake Hinson is the guy who can propel the Panthers into the tournament. The two way forward is averaging 15.6 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. Ad guard Greg Elliot into the mix, who adds 10.4 points, 3.8 rebounds and shoots 42% from beyond the arc, Pitt can
Mississippi State also got pounced in their respective tournament, losing by over 20 to Bama. They do have a dominant forward in Tolu Smith, who was second in the SEC in rebounds (8.5) and first in field-goal percentage (.576) with 15.8 points per game. Smith has recorded a double-double in three straight games.
This is going to be a tough one, because Mississippi State knows how to lock down opponents. They rank sixth in the country in adjusted defensive efficiency (via KenPom). Yet, Pitt has four players scoring double digits, compared to just one for the Bulldogs. Pitt is also 24th in adjusted offensive efficiency, and a brutal 142nd on the defensive side.
Mississippi State is 3-5 ATS in their last 8 games.
MSST is 9-4 in their last 13 games.
MSST Over (132.5) is 4-4 in their last 8 games.
PITT is 4-4 ATS in their last 8 games
PITT is is 9-4 in their last 13 games.
PITT Over (132.5) is 8-0 in their last 8 games.
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