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No. 8 LSU vs. No. 9 St. Bonaventure preview for NCAA Tournament first-round matchup

The No. 8 LSU and No. 9 St. Bonaventure face off in the first round of the 2021 NCAA tournament. We’ve got an initial preview of what and how to watch following Selection Sunday.

LSU Tigers forward Trendon Watford (2) and LSU Tigers guard Ja’Vonte Smart (1) celebrate after a win against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Bridgestone Arena. Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The NCAA Tournament begins on Thursday, March 18th with the First Four, and then moves on to the first round on Friday, March 15 and Saturday, March 16. The No. 8 seed LSU Tigers will face the No. 9 seed St. Bonaventure Bonnies in the first round. Game time has yet to be announced but we will update this article with that and game odds as soon as it comes available. For now, we’ve got a preliminary preview of the two teams to get you ready for March Madness!

Once the odds from DraftKings Sportsbook are made available for this game, we’ll add that information below. We’ll also add the game time and TV channel once it’s settled.

Game date: Saturday, March 20
Game time: 1:45 p.m. ET
TV channel: TNT
Location: Assembly Hall

Odds: LSU -1.5
Over/Under: 144.5

No. 8 LSU

The LSU Tigers are back in the NCAA Tournament and they have as good of an offense as you’ll see in college basketball. LSU ranks sixth in adjusted offensive efficiency and average more than 80 points per game this year. Their 46.9 field goal percentage is second in the conference, as is their 74.6% free throw shooting. Defensively is where LSU can have some issues as they rank No. 126 in adjusted defensive efficiency.

LSU’s attack starts with freshman guard Cameron Thomas, who averages 23.1 points per game, and that ranks as the No. 4 scorer in college basketball this season. He puts up a high number of shots and does a lot of damage from the free throw line where is shooting 90.3%. LSU big men Trendon Watford and Darius Days each average more than seven rebounds per game this year.

Record: 18-8, 11-6 SEC
KenPom adjusted offensive efficiency: 6
KenPom adjusted defensive efficiency: 125
ATS: 12-13-1
Over Total: 15-10-1
Odds to win NCAA Championship: +6000

No. 9 St. Bonaventure

The St. Bonaventure Bonnies will head into the tournament out of the A-10, which has been competitive at the top with VCU vying for the automatic bid as well.

The Bonnies aren’t particularly amazing at anything on the floor, but they’re extremely solid all around. They’re ranked in the top 30 in the nation in both adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency. They need to score more, averaging just 71 points per game heading into the final game of the regular season. Still, they’re solid because they don’t have a single star player that the opposition can focus on.

SBU averages five players in double figure scoring on the season, so there’s no one major threat to focus on. Everybody on the court has the ability to make shots at any time. They’re led by Kyle Lofton and Jaren Holmes, who both average between 14 and 15 points per game.

Record: 15-4, 11-4 A-10
KenPom adjusted offensive efficiency: 44
KenPom adjusted defensive efficiency: 20
ATS: 13-5-1
Over Total: 5-14
Odds to win NCAA Championship: +10000