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No. 16 Norfolk State vs. No. 16 Appalachian State Team preview for NCAA Tournament First Four matchup

No. 16 Norfolk State and No. 16 Appalachian State face off in one of the First Four games of the 2021 NCAA tournament. We’ve got an initial preview of what and how to watch following Selection Sunday.

Norfolk State Spartans guard Devante Carter drives to the basket against North Carolina Central Eagles guard Mike Melvin and center Raasean Davis during the first half at The Scope.  Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

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. 16 seed Norfolk State will face No. 16 seed Appalachian State on Thursday in the First Four. 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 the start of 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: Thursday, March 18
Game time: 8:40 p.m.
TV channel: truTV
Location: Assembly Hall

Odds: Appalachian State -3, Total 134.5

No. 16 Norfolk State

The Norfolk State Spartans are making their second-ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament as the MEAC champion. The last time the Spartans made the tourney was in 2012, where they upset No. 2-seed Missouri in the second round. But then they lost to the No. 7-seed Florida Gators in the third round. The Spartans will be hoping that they can recapture that magic from years ago and pull another upset this year in the tournament.

Norfolk State’s relevant stats

Record: 15-4, 8-4 MEAC
KenPom adjusted offensive efficiency: 204
KenPom adjusted defensive efficiency: 219
ATS: 12-8-1
Over Total: 12-9
Odds to win NCAA Championship: +30000

No. 16 Appalachian State

Appalachian State shocked the Sun Belt after winning the conference tournament title as a four seed earlier this month. For the vast majority of the season, the Mountaineers were average at best, but went on a hot streak to capture the Sun Belt crown and their first bid to the NCAA Tournament since 2000.

Appalachian State’s relevant stats

Record: 17-11, 7-8 Sun Belt
KenPom adjusted offensive efficiency: 228
KenPom adjusted defensive efficiency: 205
ATS: 14-9-1
Over Total: 11-13
Odds to win NCAA Championship: +30000