We’ve got another set of First Four matchups in the NCAA Tournament tonight. Last night’s games were both incredibly close matchups. Tonight’s two games have the same type of feeling. We’re in for a treat. Here are our favorite NCAAB picks for the two games tonight.
Fairleigh Dickinson vs. Texas Southern: Texas Southern -2.5 (-110) at FanDuel
Nevada vs. Arizona State: Nevada +2 (-110) at Caesars
Fairleigh Dickinson Knights vs. Texas Southern Tigers
Wednesday, March 15, 2023 – 06:40 PM EDT at UD Arena
The Fairleigh Dickinson Knights don’t even deserve to dance tonight. The Knights lost to Merrimack in the NEC Finals, but Merrimack is still transitioning into D1, so Merrimack isn’t allowed to play in the tournament. Thus, Fairleigh Dickinson is in the NCAA Tournament.
The Knights have been great offensively this year, scoring 34.4% from deep and 51.4% from inside the arc. FDU doesn’t get to the foul line at a high rate but should see more attempts at the foul line against a Texas Southern group that fouls at a very high rate.
The Knights have shot 75% from the foul line. So that’ll help them in their quest for a win tonight. Fairleigh Dickinson has also hauled in 31.4% of offensive rebounds while only turning the ball over 16.4% of the time.
However, Texas Southern has held teams to 33.3% from three and 48.9% from two. The Tigers have kept teams to 27.8% of offensive rebounds and still earn 18.7% of turnovers. The only area where the Tigers need help is in the fouling department.
Texas Southern is experienced. They’ve been to the NCAA Tournament in recent years. However, the offense has been incredibly inconsistent.
The Tigers have shot 29.1% from downtown and 47.2% from inside the arc. They’ve also hit just 66% from the foul line this season. Still, like FDU, the Tigers will get to the foul line at a high rate. They’ll still make some shots from the foul line.
The Knights are better at forcing turnovers, earning 21.4% of turnovers per game this season. Texas Southern will need to be smarter with the ball. Both teams run at a fast pace. And again, we should see plenty of fouls called in this game.
While Fairleigh Dickinson is good at earning turnovers, the Knights have allowed teams to shoot 36.9% from deep and 56.1% from inside the arc. The defense has been terrible.
Texas Southern might be inconsistent, but the Tigers were consistent enough in the SWAC Tournament, earning three straight wins over Alcorn State, Alabama A&M, and Grambling State. The SWAC had a better year than the NEC.
Fairleigh Dickinson will be out-rebounded, foul more, and likely miss more shots. That sets up for a solid Texas Southern victory tonight.
NCAAB Pick: Texas Southern -2.5 (-110) at FanDuel
Nevada Wolf Pack vs. Arizona State Sun Devils
Wednesday, March 15, 2023 – 09:10 PM EDT at UD Arena
Many college basketball analysts weren’t happy with Nevada sneaking into the tournament field. After all, the Wolf Pack lost their last three games of the season before making it into the NCAA Tournament. Nevada might have a chip on its shoulder.
The Nevada Wolf Pack are shooting 33.8% from three and 50.3% from inside the arc. However, they’ve also shot 79.2% from the foul line this season, which is always beneficial in tournament play. The Wolf Pack have added just 22.9% of offensive rebounds but should find their way to the foul line at a high rate and rarely turn the ball over.
Arizona State has allowed teams to haul in 31.8% of offensive rebounds. The Sun Devils have also fouled at a high rate. However, teams are shooting just 33.6% from three and 43.8% from inside the arc against Arizona State this year. Still, Nevada should be able to stick around in this game using the foul line.
Arizona State has shot just 31.4% from long range and 47.9% from inside the arc this season. The Sun Devils are more active on the offensive glass, but Nevada has only allowed teams to grab 25.1% of offensive rebounds this year. The Sun Devils won’t get to the foul line as often as Nevada and shoot just 68.9% from the charity stripe.
The only good thing about this offense is that Arizona State limits turnovers. But getting quality shots will be difficult, and earning offensive rebounds won’t be as easy against Nevada.
Nevada has also held teams to 32.5% from three and 49.3% from inside the arc. The defense isn’t up to Arizona State quality, but it’s good enough against a Sun Devils team that has moments where they can’t hit anything.
I’ll take Nevada to pull off the upset and cover the +2. If you’re daring, take the moneyline.
NCAAB Pick: Nevada +2 (-110) at Caesars