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. No. 7 seed Florida will face No. 10 seed Virginia Tech 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 for March Madness 2021 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: 12:15 p.m. ET
TV channel: CBS
Location: Hinkle Fieldhouse
Odds: Florida -1
No. 7 Florida
The Florida Gators have been a difficult team to predict this season, but they appear on the right track heading into the NCAA Tournament. Florida does not jump off the page in individual or team statistics compared to the rest of the field, though the Gators have a 46.4% field goal percentage, which ranks first in the SEC. Florida is led by sophomore guard Tre Mann, who is averaging 14.7 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.4 assists, all of which are team highs.
The Gators are hovering around the top 40 in the latest KenPom ratings as well as adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency. Early in the season, Florida was hit by a scary situation in which Keyontae Johnson collapsed on the court during a game. He has since recovered and will not play the rest of the season. In four games, Johnson averaged 16 points and 4.5 rebounds.
Record: 14-9, 9-7 SEC
KenPom adjusted offensive efficiency: 39
KenPom adjusted defensive efficiency: 37
Over Total: 10-12-1
Odds to win NCAA Championship: +7000
No. 10 Virginia Tech
After a solid 2020-21 campaign in a competitive ACC, the Virginia Tech Hokies find themselves going dancing in the NCAA Tournament once again. VT hasn’t been spectacular from a metrics standpoint, ranking 49th in NET rating and 50 in KenPom, but they were consistent enough to go 9-4 in ACC play throughout the regular season before bowing out to North Carolina in the ACC Tournament.
The catalyst to Va. Tech’s success was junior forward Keve Aluma, whose 15.6 points and eight rebounds a game earned him Second-Team All-ACC honors and a few votes for conference player of the year. Aluma has been aided by the likes of Naheim Alleyne and Justyn Mutts all season as well as Tyrece Radford, who was controversially reinstated to the program in February after a DUI and concealed weapon arrest in January.
Record: 15-6, 9-4 ACC
KenPom adjusted offensive efficiency: 54
KenPom adjusted defensive efficiency: 54
Over Total: 12-9
Odds to win NCAA Championship: +5000