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. 7 seed Texas A&M Aggies will face the No. 10 seed Penn State Nittany Lions.
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: Thursday, March 16
Game time: 9:45 p.m. ET
TV channel: TBS
Location: Des Moines, IA
Odds: Texas A&M -3.5
No. 7 Texas A&M
What a turnaround it’s been for Texas A&M. On Dec. 20, the Aggies were 6-5 and fresh off a 67-62 loss to Wofford. Since then, the Aggies have gone 17-3, a stretch that’s highlighted by the Aggies’ 67-61 win over No. 2 Alabama on March 4 which secured TAMU a second place finish in the SEC.
The Aggies are led by guards Wade Taylor IV (16.3 PPG) and Taylor Radford (13.3 PPG), both of whom received All-SEC honors. The Aggies frontcourt is led by the duo of Henry Coleman III (9.4 PPG) and Julius Marble (9.3 PPG) — both of whom provide some pop on offense to go along with defensive length. Marble could be the most important Aggie come March, as he’s proven he can heat up quickly in games, as evidenced by him tallying more than 15 points in six games this season.
No. 10 Penn State
Penn State won five of its last six games to end the regular season and a surprise run to the Big Ten Tournament title game solidified the Nittany Lions’ spot in the big dance. PSU was 14-11 midway through February and were solidly on the bubble before managing to finish strong in the ridiculously crowded Big Ten standings. Senior guard Jalen Pickett was everything for the Nittany Lions down the stretch and earned First-Team All-Big Ten honors by averaging 17.8 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 6.8 assists per game.
Tempo wise, PSU plays at one of the slowest paces in the nation on offense but is extremely efficient. It shoots 55.7% from the field in effective field goal percentage and is one of the most careful teams in the nation when it comes to taking care of the basketball.