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No. 3 Tennessee vs. No. 14 Longwood: Preview, picks for first round of 2022 NCAA Tournament

The Tennessee Volunteers and Longwood Lancers meet at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis for the first round of the 2022 NCAA Tournament. We’ve got everything you need on both teams ahead of the game here.

NCAA Basketball: SEC Conference Tournament Championship-Texas A&M vs Tennessee Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Following their first SEC Tournament title in over 40 years, the Tennessee Volunteers were rewarded with a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament. And they drew the automatic bid from the Big South Conference in the No. 14 Longwood Lancers, with the game to be played at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, IN on Thursday, March 17th at 2:45 p.m.

Here’s all the details you need for this St. Patrick’s Day matchup!

No. 3 Tennessee: 26-7 (14-4 SEC): Auto Bid

KenPom rating: 7 Overall, 35 Offense, 3 Defense
NET ranking: 7, (11-7 Vs. Quad 1)
Leading scorer: Santiago Vescovi, 13.4 ppg.
Key stat: The Vols score an assist on 62.3% of field goals, 6th best in America.

The Vols won the SEC Tournament for the first time since 1979, and are one of the most aggressive defensive teams in the country. Kennedy Chandler sometimes isn’t talked about as one of the best guards in the country, but the Sunrise Christian Academy product can take over or be a distributor when needed.

The question for UT is can they score enough, as they hit just 47.9% of their two-point shots.

No. 14 Longwood: 26-6 (15-1 Big South): Auto Bid

KenPom rating: 140 Overall, 111 Offense, 190 Defense
NET ranking: 125, (0-1 Vs. Quad 1)
Leading scorer: Justin Hill, 14.2 ppg
Key stat: The Lancers make 38.6% of their three-pointers, good for fifth in Division I.

Longwood has lost only one game in the calendar year 2022, going 18-1 over their last 19. The problem is they haven’t played anyone in that time in the Top 100 of the latest NET rankings.

Can the Lancers maintain that kind of offensive efficiency against one of the best defensive teams in college basketball?

Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook

Point spread: Tennessee -18
Point total: 133
Moneyline: Tennessee -2500, Longwood +1200

The Pick

Against The Spread Pick: Longwood +18
Point total pick: Over
Pick to Win: Tennessee

This is a lookahead spot for the Vols, who have been up-and-down all season long depending on the opponent. Following their SEC Championship, look for UT to possibly be thinking about their second round matchup instead of focusing on the task at hand. Vols win, but Lancers cover behind a barrage of three-pointers.

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