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No. 1 Arizona vs. No. 16 Wright State/Bryant preview for March Madness first-round matchup

The No. 1 Arizona and No. 16 Wright State/Bryant face off in the first round of the 2022 NCAA tournament. We’ve got an initial preview of what and how to watch following Selection Sunday.

NCAA Basketball: PAC-12 Conference Championship Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

The NCAA Tournament begins on Tuesday, March 15th with the First Four, and then moves on to the first round on Thursday, March 17 and Friday, March 18. No. 1 seed Arizona Wildcats will face No. 16 seed Wright State Raiders or Bryant Bulldogs in the first round on Friday. Here’s an early look at what we can expect from the Wildcats and Raiders/Bulldogs in this year’s March Madness Tournament.

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 18th
Game time: 7:27 p.m. ET
TV channel: truTV
Location: San Diego, California

Odds: TBA

No. 1 Arizona

What head coach Tommy Lloyd has done in his first year is incredible. He won the Pac-12 regular season title and has his team in contention to win the big ring as well. Bennedict Mathurin has been one of the best players in the country this year, while Azuolas Tubelis and Christian Koloko have been a great front court.

Mathurin is averaging 17.3 points and 5.7 rebounds per game while Tubelis is averaging 14.7 points and Koloko is averaging 11.8 points with seven rebounds per game. Besides their road loss to Colorado, the Wildcats won almost every conference game handily. This team has a legit shot at making a Final Four run.

Record: 31-3, 18-2 Pac-12
KenPom adjusted offensive efficiency: 5
KenPom adjusted defensive efficiency: 20
Against The Spread: 19-13-2
Over Total: 20-14-0
Odds to win NCAA Championship: +650

No. 16 Bryant

On Dec. 3, 2021, Bryant lost at Houston by 67 points. It was hard to believe then that the Bulldogs were a tournament team, but after going 18-2 and winning 16 of their last 17 games they are dancing. It’s a high-scoring, fast-paced squad that shoots a lot of three-pointers (but hit barely 30% of them). Led by charismatic senior guard Peter Kiss, the nation’s leading scorer at 25.1 points per game who has surpassed 30 in seven of his last 10 outings.

The Bulldogs, who have been playing on the DIvision I level since 2008, are making their first ever NCAA Tournament appearance. They are 37-15 over the past two seasons under fourth-year head coach Jared Grasso.

Record: 22-9, 15-2 NEC
KenPom adjusted offensive efficiency: 154
KenPom adjusted defensive efficiency: 218
Against The Spread: 16-13-1
Over Total: 16-14
Odds to win NCAA Championship: +100000

No. 16 Wright State

The Raiders battled back from a 16-point deficit with fewer than 12 minutes to play in the Horizon League Tournament final to beat Northern Kentucky and punch their ticket into the Big Dance. It’s their first trip in four years and their second under head coach Scott Nagy.

Wright State employs a pretty small rotation, with four players averaging at least 32 minutes per night. The offense runs through guard Tanner Holden and forward Grant Basile, who are averaging 19.8 and 18.5 points per game, respectively. Close to 60 percent of the Raiders’ possessions end with the ball in their hands. Both men are tallying at least seven rebounds per game, and Holden has attempted and made the most free throws of any player in Division I. The Raiders need their offense to be clicking in order to win since their defense allows 71 points per game on 45% shooting.

Record: 21-13, 15-7 Horizon
KenPom adjusted offensive efficiency: 107
KenPom adjusted defensive efficiency: 262
Against The Spread: 15-18
Over Total: 18-15
Odds to win NCAA Championship: +100000