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No. 8 Memphis vs. No. 9 Florida Atlantic preview for March Madness First Round matchup

No. 8 Memphis Tigers and No. 9 Florida Atlantic Owls face off in the First Round of the 2023 NCAA tournament. We’ve got an initial preview of the game and how to watch.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: MAR 11 American Tournament Photo by Adam Davis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The NCAA Tournament begins on Tuesday, March 14th with the First Four, and then moves on to the First Round on Thursday, March 16 and Friday, March 17. The No. 8 seed Memphis Tigers will face the No. 9 seed Florida Atlantic Owls on Friday, March 17.

Here’s an early look at what we can expect from the matchup.

Once odds from DraftKings Sportsbook are made available for this game, we’ll add that information below. We’ll also add the game time and TV channel once it’s settled.

Game date: Friday, March 17
Game time: 9:20 p.m. ET
TV channel: TNT
Location: Columbus, OH

Odds: Memphis -2.5

No. 8 Memphis

The Memphis Tigers regular season ended with a loss to No. 1 Houston Cougars on a buzzer-beater, but coach Penny Hardaway and Co. were able to exact revenge in the AAC Tournament to secure an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Memphis is led in scoring by guard Kendric Davis, who is averaging 21 points per game on 41 percent shooting. After Davis is a fifth-year senior, Deandre Williams, who is averaging 17 and 7.6 assists per game. The Tigers score 79.2 points per game (24th in the country). Their high-powered offense served them well in their conference championship game.

Record: 25-8, 13-5 AAC

Coach: Penny Hardaway

Qualifier: Automatic

KenPom overall: 28

KenPom adjusted offensive efficiency: 34

KenPom adjusted defensive efficiency: 37

Pace: 17

PPP overall: 1.059

Leading scorer: Kendric Davis

NET: 29

Quad 1 record: 3-4

Against The Spread: 16-16-1

Over Total: 18-15

No. 9 Florida Atlantic

The Florida Atlantic Owls have had a magical run this season, finishing 29-3 while making an appearance in the Top 25. FAU’s winning streak peaked at 20 in a row from November to January. They were able to rebound from the loss, and won four straight to end the regular season. The Owls might’ve been an at-large team, but they won’t have to worry about that after earning an automatic bid by winning their conference tournament.

Florida Atlantic likes to get up and down the floor, averaging 79 points per game. Don’t sleep on their stifling defense that holds opponents to 65 points per game, though. The Owls shoot 47 percent from the field and 37 percent from three on the year. Their KenPom ranking is 26th in the country, with an adjusted offensive offensive efficiency of 114.6, which is good for 32nd in the country and their defensive rating is a 97, which is good for 39th. The one thing some may call into question is their strength of schedule which ranks 145th in the country.

Record: 29-3, 18-2 C-USA

Coach: Dusty May

Qualifier: Automatic

KenPom overall: 25

KenPom adjusted offensive efficiency: 31

KenPom adjusted defensive efficiency: 36

Pace: 126

PPP overall: 1.107

Odds to win NCAA Championship: +9000

Leading scorer: Johnell Davis

NET: 13

Quad 1 record: 2-1

Against The Spread: 21-10-1

Over Total: 16-15-1

Odds to win NCAA Championship: +20000