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No. 5 Tennessee vs. No. 12 Oregon State preview for NCAA Tournament first-round matchup

The No. 5 Tennessee Volunteers and No. 12 Oregon State Beavers 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.

Jaden Springer #11 of the Tennessee Volunteers drives to the basket against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the first half of their semifinal game in the SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament at Bridgestone Arena on March 13, 2021 in Nashville, Tennessee. Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

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. 5 seed Tennessee Volunteers will face the No. 12 seed Oregon State Beavers 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: Friday, March 19
Game time: 4:30 p.m. ET
TV channel: TNT
Location: Bankers Life Fieldhouse

Odds: Tennessee -8.5
Over/Under: 135.5

No. 5 Tennessee

The Tennessee Volunteers put together a solid NCAA Tournament resume, but it probably isn’t as good as fans would’ve thought when they ranked No. 6 in the country in mid-January. Tennessee struggled to sustain consecutive victories. The Volunteers will enter March Madness with one of the best defenses in the country, which ranks fourth in adjusted defensive efficiency. However, offensively is where the Volunteers struggle, and they come in at No. 71 in adjusted offensive efficiency.

Tennessee has seven players who average at least 24 minutes per game, and all of them score at least eight points per matchup on average, so this is a very balanced scoring team. Freshman guard Jaden Springer leads the Volunteers with 12.8 points per game and makes 3-pointers at a 47.4% rate, though he shoots less than two per game on average. Tennessee ranks No. 1 as a team in the SEC in assist/turnover ratio, so the Volunteers take care of the ball well despite not having a very explosive offense.

Record: 18-8, 10-7 SEC
KenPom adjusted offensive efficiency: 71
KenPom adjusted defensive efficiency: 4
ATS: 13-12-1
Over Total: 11-15
Odds to win NCAA Championship: +4500

No. 12 Oregon State

The Beavers needed to win the Pac-12 Championship to get into the NCAA Tournament, and they did it. Knocking off UCLA, rival Oregon, and Colorado, they stole a bid from an at-large team and earned their way into the field. Jarod Lucas will be a player to watch on a team playing their best basketball the right time of year.

Record: 17-12, 10-10 Pac-12
KenPom Offense: 65
KenPom Defense: 117
ATS: 19-9-1
Over total: 18-11
Odds to win NCAA Championship: N/A