clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

NCAA First Four Game Preview: No. 16 Mount St. Mary’s vs. No. 16 Texas Southern

The Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers and Texas Southern Tigers meet at ARENA for the First Four series in the 2021 NCAA Tournament. We’ve got everything you need on both teams ahead of the game here.

NCAA Basketball: Texas Southern at Auburn John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

Here are the updated bet splits for Mount St. Mary’s vs. Texas Southern as of March 17th at 9:30 a.m. from DraftKings Sportsbook:

Mount St. Mary’s: -1: 59% of action, 54% of bets
Texas Southern: +1: 41% of action, 46% of bets
Over: 133.5: 67% of action, 59% of bets
Under: 133.5: 33% of action, 41% of bets

The First Four will feature four games on Thursday night to cut the field down to 64 for the first round, and one will feature the Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers and Texas Southern Tigers as a pair of 16 seeds. Texas Southern opened as a slight favorite, but oddsmakers suggest this should go down to the wire. The game will get started at 5:10 p.m. from Assembly Hall at Indiana University and can be seen on truTV. The winner will take on the No. 1 seed Michigan Wolverines in the first round.

No. 16 Mount St. Mary’s: 12-10 (9-7 NEC): AUTO BID

KenPom rating: 219 Overall, 287 Offense, 136 Defense
NET ranking: 158 (0-2 VS Quad 1)
Leading scorer: Damian Chong Qui
Key stat: Jalen Gibbs led the team with 16.5 points per game through four games before opting out due to COVID-19 concerns.

Despite losing what may have been their best scorer early in the season, Mount St. Mary’s rallied to receive the automatic bid from the Northeast Conference. The Mountaineers’ 5-foot-8 guard Damian Chong Qui is an exciting player with 15.1 points per game and 5.5 assists, which led the conference by a wide margin.

Watch for Mount St. Mary’s to slow this game down and get Texas Southern out of their rhythm. The only team that has less possessions per game than The Mount is Virginia. Controlling the tempo will be crucial in this game.

No. 16 Texas Southern: 16-8 (10-3 SWAC): AUTO BID

KenPom rating: 229 Overall, 236 Offense, 236 Defense
NET ranking: 208 (0-4 VS Quad 1)
Leading scorer: Michael Weathers
Key stat: Despite leading the conference in field goal percentage, Texas Southern ranked last in three-point shooting percentage at 27.4%.

If you like scoring, you’re a fan of this Texas Southern team. The Tigers get up and down the court quickly, and they ranked No. 1 in the SWAC in points per game and field goal percentage. In addition, they were significantly the best rebounding team in the conference with a 6.1 rebounding margin.

Watch for Texas Southern to do everything they can to make this a fast-paced performance, and attack the rim in transition by forcing turnovers from the plodding Mountaineers.

March Madness Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook

Point spread: Texas Southern -2.5
Point total: 132.5
Moneyline: Texas Southern -143, Mount St. Mary’s +120

The Pick

Against The Spread Pick: Mount St. Mary’s +2.5
Pick to Win: Mount St. Mary’s

There will be a massive difference in styles as Texas Southern is No. 26 in pace of play, while Mount St. Mary’s is No. 356 out of 357 teams. We’re going with the Mountaineers to be able to play to their style and cover this spread, earning an outright victory as the slight underdog. Making 3-pointers at a 27.4% rate will be a problem for Texas Southern especially with Mount St. Mary’s ability to defend beyond the arc.

If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL). Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ/WV/PA/MI), 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN), 1-800-522-4700 (NH/CO), 1-800-BETS OFF (IA), 1-888-532-3500 (VA) or call/text TN REDLINE 1-800-889-9789 (TN). 21+ (18+ NH). CO/IL/IN/IA/NH/NJ/PA/TN/VA/WV/MI only. Eligibility restrictions apply. See for full terms and conditions.