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No. 4 Indiana vs. No. 13 Kent State preview for March Madness First Round matchup

No. 4 Indiana and No. 13 Kent State face off in the First Round of the 2023 NCAA tournament. We’ve got an initial preview of the game and how to watch.

NCAA Basketball: MAC Conference Tournament Championship - Kent St vs Toledo Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The NCAA Tournament begins on Tuesday, March 14th with the First Four, and then moves on to the First Round on Thursday, March 16 and Friday, March 17. The No. 4 seed Indiana will face the No. 13 seed Kent State on Friday, March 17.

Here’s an early look at what we can expect from the matchup.

Once 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 17
Game time: 9:55 p.m. ET
TV channel: TBS
Location: Albany, New York

Odds: Indiana -5.5

No. 4 Indiana

Indiana was enjoying one of its best seasons in recent memory before splitting the final six games and going 1-1 in the Big Ten Tournament. But they bring perhaps the second-best player in the country and an efficient team on both sides of the ball. Indiana is a dangerous squad because of the talent and experience of Trayce Jackson-Davis, who averaged 20.5 points and 11 rebounds per game in the regular season. He led the Hoosiers in points, rebounds, assists, and blocks per game. But if a team focuses on Jackson-Davis in the tournament, do the Hoosiers have anyone else that can make teams pay? Guard Jalen Hood-Schifino averaged 13.4 points per game and shot better than 36 percent from three. He and the enigmatic Race Thompson likely have to get hot for the Hoosiers to make a deep run.

Record: 22-11, 12-8 Big Ten

Coach: Mike Woodson

Qualifier: At-large

KenPom overall: 30

KenPom adjusted offensive efficiency: 29

KenPom adjusted defensive efficiency: 43

Pace: 143

PPP overall: 1.071

Leading scorer: Trayce-Jackson Davis

NET: 30

Quad 1 record: 6-9

Against The Spread: 15-17-1

Over Total: 19-13-1

No. 13 Kent State

Kent State secured a big win over Toledo in the MAC Championship Game to grab an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Golden Flashes put together a 58-point second half to pull ahead, led by the top scorer Sincere Carry, who had 26 points at the end of the night. Carry averages 17.6 points per game. The Golden Flashes bring a strong defensive presence to the court, allowing opponents to score 65.7 points per game on 40.3% shooting from the field, good for 19th in the nation.

The Golden Flashes last appeared in the NCAA Tournament in 2017. They enter the Big Dance with an impressive 28 wins under their belt in the regular season and conference tournament. Miryne Thomas and Malique Jacobs are tough on the boards, each averaging over five rebounds per game for the Flashes.

Record: 20-12, 11-9 Big Ten

Coach: Brad Underwood

Qualifier: At-large

Record: 28-6, 15-3 MAC

Coach: Rob Senderoff

Qualifier: Automatic

KenPom overall: 71

KenPom adjusted offensive efficiency: 110

KenPom adjusted defensive efficiency: 38

Pace: 175

PPP overall: 1.059

Leading scorer: Sincere Carry

NET: 57

Quad 1 record: 0-3

Against The Spread: 20-11-1

Over Total: 12-20-0