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Full preview for No. 11 Mississippi State vs. No. 11 Pitt in First Four of 2023 NCAA Tournament

We break down everything you need to know for Tuesday’s First Four March Madness matchup between Mississippi State and Pitt.

Pittsburgh Panthers guard Nike Sibande goes up for a layup against the Duke Blue Devils during the second half of the quarterfinals of the ACC tournament at Greensboro Coliseum. John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The First Four matchup in the Midwest Region is set for Wednesday, March 15 as the No. 11 Mississippi State Bulldogs face the No. 12 Pitt Panthers from University of Dayton Arena in Dayton, Ohio.

Game date: Wednesday, March 15
Game time: 9 p.m.
TV channel: truTV
Location: University of Dayton Arena in Dayton, Ohio.

Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook: Mississippi State -2, Total 131.5

No. 11 Mississippi State

Record: 21-12, 8-10 SEC
Coach: Chris Jans
Qualifier: At-Large
KenPom overall: 49
KenPom adjusted offensive efficiency: 168
KenPom adjusted defensive efficiency: 7
Pace: 334
PPP overall: .980
Leading scorer: Tolu Smith
NET: 49
Quad 1 record: 4-8
Against The Spread: 16-16-1
Over Total: 13-20
Odds to win NCAA Championship: +20000

Mississippi State started its season 10-0, including a quality win over the Marquette Golden Eagles. The Bulldogs had an up and down season; they lost five in a row during conference play, concluded with a three-point loss at the hands of Alabama. After that loss, they went on to rip off five straight wins. Head coach Chris Jans has kept his team afloat all season and it’s paid off with a trip to the tourney. This team struggles offensively, averaging just 65.9 points per game. Senior forward Tolu Smith leads the team in scoring with 15.8 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. He is the only player averaging in double figures, which showcases Mississippi State’s offensive struggles.

KenPom has them ranked in the top 50, but their offensive rating is at 105.4. They’ve scored 80 points only once in a game that mattered — an overtime victory over TCU. The one saving grace for them is their stifling defense allows just 91 points per 100 possessions, which is a top 10 mark.

No. 11 Pitt

Record: 22-11, 14-6 ACC
Coach: Jeff Capel III
Qualifier: At-large
KenPom overall: 78
KenPom adjusted offensive efficiency: 24
KenPom adjusted defensive efficiency: 143
Pace: 174
PPP overall: 1.094
Leading scorer: Blake Hinson
NET: 67
Quad 1 record: 4-4
Against The Spread: 22-10-1
Over Total: 21-12
Odds to win NCAA Championship: +20000

The Pittsburgh Panthers are enjoying their best season since 2013-14, and are going dancing for the first time post-2016. After going 14-6 through their arduous ACC schedule in 2022-23, the Panthers ended the regular season at 22-11.

Pitt fought valiantly in the opening round of their conference tournament, defeating Georgia Tech, but got clobbered by the Blue Devils in the Quarterfinal. On the heels of a 27-point loss, the Panthers will be eager to remind opponents that they can be quick to pounce on the offensive end of the floor.