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No. 6 TCU vs. No. 11 Arizona State preview for March Madness First Round matchup

No. 6 TCU and No. 11 Arizona State face off in the First Round of the 2023 NCAA tournament. We’ve got an initial preview of the game and how to watch.

TCU Horned Frogs guard Mike Miles Jr. (1) looks to set the play during the second half against the Texas Longhorns at T-Mobile Center. William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports

Update March 15 11:30 p.m. The most complete performance in the First Four belongs to the Arizona State Sun Devils, who destroyed the Nevada Wolfpack 98-73 to advance to the first round matchup. DJ Horne had 20 points and was 4-5 from three-point range, while ASU was a gaudy 35-55 from the field and 11-21 from downtown.

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. 6 seed TCU Horned Frogs will face the No. 11 seed Arizona State Sun Devils on Friday, March 17.

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

Game date: Friday, March 17
Game time: 9:55 p.m. ET
TV channel: TruTV
Location: Denver, Colorado

Odds at DraftKings Sportsbook: TCU -4.5, Total 141.5

No. 6 TCU

Despite finishing sixth in the Big 12, TCU locked in a spot in March Madness after finishing the season with a 20-11 record, including 9-9 in conference. The highlight of the Horned Frogs season came in January when they beat Kansas 83-60 at Allen Fieldhouse to hand the Jayhawks their worst home loss in two years.

That said, TCU also had bad losses to Northwestern State, Mississippi State and Oklahoma, a tangible example of the team’s streaky nature. On offense, the Horned Frogs are led by junior guard Mike Miles Jr. who is averaging 17.2 points per game despite missing nearly a month due to a knee injury. Guard Damion Baugh (13 PPG) and forward Emanuel Miller (12.8 PPG) are the only other Horned Frogs averaging double-figures. Outside of that trio, TCU doesn’t have much scoring, and they struggle from three (29.6%) as a team.

Record: 21-12, 9-9 Big 12
Coach: Jamie Dixon
Qualifier: At-large
KenPom overall: 26
KenPom adjusted offensive efficiency: 53
KenPom adjusted defensive efficiency: 20
Pace: 49
PPP overall: 1.037
Leading scorer: Mike Miles
NET: 28
Quad 1 record: 8-11
Against The Spread: 16-16-1
Over Total: 16-17
Odds to win NCAA Championship: TBD

No. 11 Arizona State

Did it take a game-winning shot from beyond half court for the Arizona State Sun Devils to qualify for the NCAA Tournament? That may be the case as they squeaked into the field a couple weeks after upsetting the in-state Arizona Wildcats on the road thanks to Desmond Cambridge Jr.’s heave at the buzzer. Arizona State is in the big dance for the first time since the 2018-19 season.

The biggest strength for the Sun Devils comes on the defensive end, while the offense has been an issue for much of the season. Cambridge is a Nevada transfer and the team’s top scorer with 13.7 points per game. On the other end, Arizona State allowed opponents to shoot 39.8% from the floor, which ranked as the third lowest in the Pac-12 this season.

Record: 22-12, 11-9 Pac-12
Coach: Bobby Hurley
Qualifier: At-large
KenPom overall: 68
KenPom adjusted offensive efficiency: 133
KenPom adjusted defensive efficiency: 28
Pace: 131
PPP overall: 0.978
Leading scorer: Desmond Cambridge Jr.
NET: 66
Quad 1 record: 5-6
Against The Spread: 15-19-0
Over Total: 17-17-0
Odds to win NCAA Championship: TBD