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No. 8 Boise State vs. No. 9 Memphis: Preview, picks for first round of 2022 NCAA Tournament

The Boise State Broncos and Memphis Tigers meet at the Moda Center in the first round of the 2022 NCAA Tournament. We’ve got everything you need on both teams ahead of the game here.

The 2022 NCAA Tournament is finally here! Kicking off the action in the West region is a first-round matchup between the No. 8 Boise State Broncos and the No. 9 Memphis Tigers.

The game will take place in Portland, Oregon on Thursday, March 17th and will tip-off at 1:45 p.m. ET, and will air on TNT.

No. 8 Boise State: 27-7 (15-3 Mountain West): Automatic bid

KenPom rating: 26 Overall, 76 Offense, 17 Defense
NET ranking: 29, (6-3 VS Quad 1)
Leading scorer: Forward Abu Kigab, 14.7 points per game
Key stat: Broncos allowed 60.8 points per game, the third-fewest in the MWC.

The Broncos are led by their big men down low. Senior forward Abu Kigab led the team with 14.7 points per game and was second with 5.8 rebounds per game. Teammate senior forward Mladen Armus doesn’t play a ton of minutes per game, but he led the school in rebounds with 7.9 per game. Boise State’s guards are fine, but they play through their forwards to set their tempo.

No. 9 Memphis: 21-10 (13-5 American): At-Large

KenPom rating: 28 Overall, 43 Offense, 30 Defense
NET ranking: 31 (5-3 VS Quad 1)
Leading scorer: Center Jalen Duren, 12.2 points per game
Key stat: Memphis led the American Conference with 76.2 points per game

Similar to the Broncos, the Tigers also play through their big men down low. Their top three scorers are big men with their leading scorer being freshman Jalen Duren. The 6’11 center also led the team in rebounds per game with 8.0. Memphis is at their best when they can play through their big men to set up their guards. They had five players end the regular season with double-digit scoring per game.

Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook

Point spread: Memphis -3
Point total: 133.5
Moneyline: Memphis -155, Boise State +135

The Pick

Against The Spread Pick: Memphis -3
Point total pick: Over 133.5
Pick to Win: Memphis

This game is going to be fought in the trenches. Boise State has a better player to lean on, but the Tigers are more well-rounded. Memphis should be able to give enough attention to Kigab that they can shut him down and find their own success in the paint. If the Broncos can force the Tigers to shoot from behind the arc, this game won’t go Memphis’ way. I don’t think that will be an issue and I see the Tigers heading into the second round.

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