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. 5 seed Miami will face the No. 12 seed Drake 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: 7:25 p.m. ET
TV channel: TBS
Location: Albany, New York
Odds: Miami -3.5
No. 5 Miami
Miami had one of the more impressive regular season finishes in the country. The Hurricanes closed the season by winning eight of nine ACC games. Five of those wins were by eight points or more. Overall, the ‘Canes went 15-5 in ACC play. They were able to sustain that success due to excellent guard play.
Miami’s top three guards combined to average 44.7 points per game, about 55% of the team’s total offensive output. Additionally, Wooga Poplar (40.5%), Nijel Pack (39.4%), and Isaiah Wong (37.8%) are all above-average outside shooters. While the Hurricanes will rely on the three to propel them in the tournament, they are not so dependent on it that an off-shooting night will necessarily bounce them from the Big Dance.
Record: 25-7, 15-5 ACC
Coach: Jim Larrañaga
KenPom overall: 39
KenPom adjusted offensive efficiency: 13
KenPom adjusted defensive efficiency: 131
PPP overall: 1.123
Leading scorer: Isaiah Wong
Quad 1 record: 5-5
Against The Spread: 18-14
Over Total: 14-17-1
Odds to win NCAA Championship: +4500
No. 12 Drake
You won’t find a more experienced team, at least life experience, than the Drake Bulldogs. In fact, its lineup is older than five NBA teams. Their starting five goes: 25, 25, 24, 23 and 20 years old. Apparently experience counts for something because the Bulldogs punched their ticket to the Big Dance by dispatching Bradley, 77-51, in the MVC title game.
After finishing the season 27-7, Drake embarks on their second March Madness in three years. Tucker DeVries, who averaged 19 points and 1.1 steals per game in the regular season, has all the makings of a Cinderella superstar. He can score in bunches, make tough shots, and shines when it matters most. If Drake makes a surprising run, you can expect DeVries to become a household name in the process.
Record: 26-7, 15-5 Missouri Valley
Coach: Darian DeVries
KenPom overall: 65
KenPom adjusted offensive efficiency: 98
KenPom adjusted defensive efficiency: 44
PPP overall: 1.065
Leading scorer: Tucker DeVries
Quad 1 record: 1-1
Against The Spread: 16-16-1
Over Total: 15-18-0