The Pittsburgh Panthers and Mississippi State Bulldogs will meet in the First Four of the 2023 NCAA Tournament. Tip-off from Dayton, OH is scheduled for 9:10 p.m. ET on Tuesday, March 14. The game will air on truTV while streaming on March Madness Live.
All odds via DraftKings Sportsbook.
No. 11 Pittsburgh vs. No. 11 Mississippi State picks
Spread: Mississippi State -2
Moneyline: Miss St -130/Pitt +110
Both teams were on the bubble for Selection Sunday, and now they’ll get a chance to advance to the First Round against the No. 6 seed Iowa State Cyclones on Thursday. Mississippi State had a losing record in conference play while finishing ninth in the SEC. However, wins over Marquette, TCU, Missouri, and Texas A&M were enough to convince the selection committee to put the Bulldogs in the First Four.
This is a classic offense vs. defense matchup. Pittsburgh ranks 24th in offensive efficiency and 142nd in defense (per Kenpom.com). Mississippi State ranks sixth in defense and 164th in offensive efficiency. Despite checking in as the underdog, it feels like the Panthers have the upper hand. Mississippi State ranks 257th in turnover rate and 347th in the nation for free throw rate. Those are two key factors working against them in a tight tournament setting.
Even though its going up against a tough defense, expect Pittsburgh to take better care of the ball and make more shots (plus free throws) down the stretch.
Pick: Pittsburgh +2