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No. 7 Oregon vs. No. 10 VCU preview for NCAA Tournament first-round matchup

The No. 7 Oregon Ducks and No. 10 VCU Rams face off in the first round of the 2021 NCAA tournament. We’ve got an initial preview of what and how to watch following Selection Sunday.

Oregon forward Eric Williams Jr. (50) looks to make a pass during the semifinal game of the men’s Pac-12 Tournament between the Oregon State Beavers and the Oregon Ducks on March 12, 2021, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV. Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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 Oregon will face No. 10 seed VCU 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: Saturday, March 20
Game time: 9:57 p.m. ET
TV channel: TNT
Location: Indiana Farmers Coliseum

Odds: Oregon -5.5
Over/Under: 137.5

No. 7 Oregon Ducks

The Oregon Ducks are one of the best teams in the Pac-12 conference this season. Dana Atlman’s crew appears to be playing good basketball at the right time and could make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament. The Ducks are the No. 1 seed in the Pac-12 tournament with a record of 20-5. Oregon defeated the Arizona State Sun Devils 91-73 in the first round of the Pac-12 tourney on Thursday. This season, they are averaging 74.1 points per game and only giving up 66.9 points per game. The Ducks are not a great rebounding team, averaging 33.4 rebounds per game this season.

The Ducks have five players who are averaging at least 10 points per game. Senior guard Chris Duarte is the team’s leading scorer with 17.3 points per game. He is shooting 53.3 percent from the field and 44 percent from three-point range. Another player to keep an eye on is LJ Figueroa. The former St. John’s standout is third on the team in scoring with 11.8 points per game and he’s also averaging 6.8 rebounds per game.

Record: 20-6, 14-4 Pac-12
KenPom adjusted offensive efficiency: 16
KenPom adjusted defensive efficiency: 78
ATS: 14-12
Over Total: 17-9
Odds to win NCAA Championship: +4000

No. 10 VCU Rams

Fresh off a run to the A-10 Championship game, the VCU Rams have found themselves once again the NCAA Tournament field of 68 after a successful 2020-21 campaign.While there has been a lot to be desired on the offensive end from Mike Rhoades’ ballclub, VCU’s bread and butter has been on the defensive side of the ball. KenPom has the Rams as the ninth best defensive unit in adjusted efficiency along with them ranking second in steal percentage, fourth in block percentage, eighth in turnover percentage, and 20th in effective field goal percentage.

Everything of course starts with Nah’Shon “Bones” Hyland, who took home the A-10 Player of the Year award after averaging 19.4 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.1 assists as a sophomore. Assisting him on the defensive end is Hason Ward, who made the A-10 All-Defensive team by averaging 3.6 defensive rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game. Junior guard Vince Williams also proved to be a valuable asset for the Rams’ success with 10.6 points and 5.1 boards a game.

Record: 19-7, 10-5 A-10
KenPom adjusted offensive efficiency: 119
KenPom adjusted defensive efficiency: 8
ATS: 14-11
Over Total: 9-16
Odds to win NCAA Championship: +10000