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. 3 seed West Virginia Mountaineers will face the No. 14 seed Morehead State Eagles 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: 9:50 p.m. ET
TV channel: TruTV
Location: Lucas Oil Stadium Unity (South)
Odds: WVU -12
No. 3 West Virginia
The West Virginia Mountaineers developed into one of the most consistent teams in college basketball this season. Bob Huggins’ squad never lost consecutive games the entire year, which is one of the clear signs of a well-coached team. The Mountaineers are significantly better on the offensive end in terms of adjusted efficiency this season where they come in at No. 11 in the country offensively.
This is a fairly deep team but Individually, junior forward Derek Culver is a huge piece in this team’s success, averaging 10.1 rebounds to lead the Big 12 to go along with 14.7 points per game. Sophomore guard Miles McBride runs the show and leads the team in scoring with 15.7 points per game. He ranks fourth in the conference with 4.7 assists per game and third with 1.8 steals. West Virginia shoots 36.6% from the three-point line, which ranks second in the Big 12 behind only the Baylor Bears.
Record: 18-9, 11-6 Big 12
KenPom adjusted offensive efficiency: 11
KenPom adjusted defensive efficiency: 65
Over Total: 18-9
Odds to win NCAA Championship: +2000
No. 14 Morehead State
The Morehead State Eagles are back in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 10 years after running through the Ohio Valley as the conference’s No. 2 seed. Moreahead has a much better defense than they do offense in terms of adjusted efficiency. The Eagles allow just 63.4 points per game, which was the fewest in the conference this season. In addition, Morehead State is a very good rebounding team, so second-chance points could be crucial for the Eagles to give a high seed a difficult time in the NCAA Tournament.
Morehead State does not rank very well among teams in the Ohio Valley on the offensive end, so that end of the floor will need to step up to have any shot at knocking off a top team. The offense is led by freshman forward Johni Broome, who averages team highs with 13.9 points, nine rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game. The Eagles will likely need a big-time performance.
Record: 23-7, 17-3 OVC
KenPom adjusted offensive efficiency: 214
KenPom adjusted defensive efficiency: 72
Over Total: 10-18
Odds to win NCAA Championship: +20000