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March Madness First Four game preview: No. 11 Rutgers vs. No. 11 Notre Dame

The Rutgers Scarlet Knights and Notre Dame Fighting Irish meet at Dayton Arena for the First Four series in the 2022 NCAA Tournament. We’ve got everything you need on both teams ahead of the game here.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights center Clifford Omoruyi and guard Caleb McConnell talk in the second half against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

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: Wednesday, March 16
Game time: 9:10 p.m.
TV channel: TruTV
Location: Dayton, Ohio

No. 11 Rutgers: 18-13, 12-8 Big Ten: At-Large

KenPom adjusted offensive efficiency: 108
KenPom adjusted defensive efficiency: 43
Against The Spread: 14-16-1
Over Total: 16-15
Odds to win NCAA Championship: +20000

Rutgers battled through a difficult Big Ten schedule this season and as a result, stands to make back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances for the first time since the mid-1970’s. The Scarlet Knights went 12-8 in conference play during the regular season and earned a double-bye for the conference tournament, falling to Iowa 84-74.

Ron Harper Jr. has been the leader for the Scarlet Knights this season, averaging 15.6 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. Geo Baker and Clifford Omoruyi also provided solid contributions as starters.

No. 11 Notre Dame: 22-10, 15-5 ACC: At-Large

It looked like a lost season for the Irish after a 4-5 start to the season, even with a win over Kentucky. Notre Dame then rattled off six straight wins and subsequently played more consistently. A down ACC helped the Irish as well, as they’ll look to potentially improve their seeding in the conference tournament but should be in no real danger of missing March Madness.

KenPom adjusted offensive efficiency: 30
KenPom adjusted defensive efficiency: 83
Against The Spread: 17-15
Over Total: 18-14
Odds to win NCAA Championship: +15000

Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook

Point spread: Notre Dame +1
Point total: 131
Moneyline: Rutgers -115, Notre Dame -105

This should be a fascinating matchup with two teams that did not start the season all that well before getting it together, and both teams love to slow the game down. Rutgers ranks No. 296 in possessions per game, while Notre Dame checks in at No. 306 in that category. The Scarlet Knights play excellent defense with an offense that can struggle. Take the under.

Pick: Under 131

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