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Full preview for No. 16 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi vs. No. 16 Southeast Missouri in First Four of 2023 NCAA Tournament

We break down everything you need to know for DAY’s First Four March Madness matchup between TAMU-CC and SEMO.

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders head coach Steve Lutz cuts down the net after the Islanders defeated the Northwestern State Demons 75-71 to win the Southland Basketball Championships at the Legacy Center in Lake Charles, LA. Scott Clause-USA TODAY Sports

The First Four matchup in the South Region is set for Tuesday March 14 as the No. 16 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders face the No. 16 Southeast Missouri Redhawks from University of Dayton Arena in Dayton, Ohio.

Game date: Tuesday, March 14
Game time: 6:30 p.m. ET
TV channel: truTV
Location: University of Dayton Arena in Dayton, Ohio.

Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook: TBA

No. 16 Texas A&M Corpus-Christi

Record: 19-10, 14-4 Southland
Coach: Steve Lutz
Qualifier: Automatic
KenPom overall: 170
KenPom adjusted offensive efficiency: 137
KenPom adjusted defensive efficiency: 229
Pace: 80
PPP overall: 1.078
Leading scorer: Trey Tennyson, 15.7 ppg
NET: 174
Quad 1 record: 0-3
Against The Spread: 17-12
Over Total: 18-11
Odds to win NCAA Championship: TBA

Champions of the Southland Conference, the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders are in the midst of their best three-year stretch in school history. Having qualified for the Big Dance just twice ever — including an elimination in the First Four last season — TAMU-CC can put up points with the best of them; The Islanders, as a team, averaged over 80 PPG this past campaign (19th-best among eligible DI programs).

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi enters the NCAA Tournament as hot as they have been all season, rallying for a dozen wins over their past 13 contests. Carried by their offense, the Islanders have scored more than 90 points in a game 10 times this year, while crossing the triple-digit mark twice. If any small school has the makings to take down a Power-5 institution in this year’s tourney, it may be A&M-CC.

No. 16 Southeast Missouri

Record: 17-16, 10-8 OVC
Coach: Brad Korn
Qualifier: Automatic
KenPom overall: 257
KenPom adjusted offensive efficiency: 263
KenPom adjusted defensive efficiency: 243
Pace: 7
PPP overall: 1.01
Leading scorer: Phillip Russell, 18.2 ppg
NET: 242
Quad 1 record: 0-3
Against The Spread: 19-13-1
Over Total: 21-12-0
Odds to win NCAA Championship: TBA

Southeast Missouri State defeated Tennessee Tech to be the first school to punch their ticket to the Big Dance, winning the Ohio Valley Conference tournament in a dramatic overtime victory in the process. The Redhawks rank in the top 50 in the nation in scoring (77.7 PPG), which is a necessary strength given that they give up nearly an equal amount of points on the defensive end (76.0 PPG).

The Redhawks are led by their three leading scorers who average double-digits in the regular season: Phillip Russell (18.2 PPG), Chris Harris (15.4 PPG), and Israel Barnes (10.3 PPG). From there on out, no one else on the roster has averaged more than eight PPG from the field, which likely means relying heavily on top three scorers to pull off any hope of an upset in the Round of 64.