The first round of the 2022 NCAA Tournament is complete and the second round rolls on. In round one, the No. 3 Texas Tech Red Raiders stormed to a blowout victory over No. 14 Montana State, 97-62. No. 6 Alabama lost a key player to injury, and No. 11 Notre Dame took full advantage coming away with a 78-64 victory.
Tipoff for this game is set for 7:10 p.m. ET from the Viejas Arena in San Deigo, California. The game will air on TBS. Texas Tech is a 7.5-point favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook.
No. 3 Texas Tech: 25-9 (12-6 Big 12): At-large
First round result: Won 97-62 over Montana State
KenPom rating: 9 Overall, 64 Offense, 1 Defense
NET ranking: 9, (8-9 Vs. Quad 1)
Leading scorer: Bryson Williams (13.7 ppg)
Key stat: Bryson Williams does not shoot a ton of 3-pointers, but he is knocking down 40.5% of them.
The Red Raiders shot lights out from the field hitting 66.7% of their shots and 60% of their three-point attempts. They had 23 assists as a team compared to Montana State’s 14. and out-rebounded the Bobcats 33-24.
Kevin Obanor had a double-double as he finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Teammates Bryson Williams and Terrence Shannon Jr. each dropped 20 points on their way to a win.
Texas Tech has the most efficient defense in the NCAA according to KenPom. They are holding teams to 44.2% on their two-point attempts and 31.4% on attempts from beyond the arc.
No. 11 Notre Dame 23-10 (15-5 ACC): At-large
First round result: Beat Alabama 78-64
KenPom rating: 51 Overall, 27 Offense, 97 Defense
NET ranking: 53 (2-8 Vs. Quad 1)
Leading scorer: Blake Wesley (14.4 ppg)
Key stat: Notre Dame does a good job at protecting the ball, possessing a turnover rate of just 15.2%.
The Irish weren’t their usual selves at protecting the rock. They had 18 turnovers which isn’t the norm for them. They won this game because they shot lights out from the field. They shot 53.7% from the field and hit 10-16 of their three-point attempts.
The Fighting Irish were led by guard Cormac Ryan who dropped 29 points in the victory. He added six rebounds and an assist to his stat line for the Irish. Notre Dame had three other players finish with double-digit points.
The Fighting Irish are hitting 38.1% of their three point attempts which is the 10th best clip among Division 1 teams.
Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook
Point spread: Texas Tech -7.5
Point total: 132.5
Moneyline: Notre Dame +260, Texas Tech -335
Against The Spread Pick: Texas Tech -7.5
Point total pick: Over 132.5
Pick to Win: Texas Tech
Texas Tech played to their potential in the first round and I think they are able to repeat the performance. Each of these teams is prolific at shooting, but the Red Raiders have the defense to back it up. Even if they happen to go cold from the field, they will be able to contain Notre Dame’s playmakers, especially on the perimeter. Texas Tech is allowing opposing teams to only connect on 31.4% of their three point attempts.
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