Monday’s Den: Quick thoughts after seeing the brackets…….

Some quick thoughts on each of the four play-in games, and the 28 first round games where we know the matchups. After this, I’m off to study………

Tuesday’s games
Colorado State-Virginia
Since 2019, Virginia has been in the NCAA’s four times:
In 2019, Virginia won the national title.
The other three years, Virginia lost in the first round.

NEC teams are 5-5 in play-in games.
MEAC teams are 4-4 in play-in games.
Wagner went 7-9 in the 2nd-worst league in the country.

Wednesday’s games
Colorado-Boise State
All-time, Boise State is 0-9 in NCAA Tournament games, the most tournament games any team has played without getting a win.

Grambling-Montana State
Montana State is in NCAA’s for 3rd year in a row, but this year, they went 9-9 in Big Sky games. The last two years, Bobcats were 31-7 in Big Sky games.

This is Grambling’s first-ever NCAA Tournament game.

Thursday’s games
South Dakota State-Iowa State
Since 2012, Jackrabbits are 0-6 in NCAA Tournament games, 2-3-1 ATS.

From 2017-19, Iowa State coach Otzelberger went 70-33 coaching South Dakota State.

Saint Peter’s-Tennessee
Since 2003, MAAC teams are 6-13 ATS in first round games, but 3-1 the last four years. Peacocks  were in the Elite 8 two years ago, but the coach/players from that team have moved on.

Last five years, Tennessee is 4-1 SU/2-3 ATS in first round games. 

Long Beach State-Arizona
From 1983-2007, Lute Olson went 589-187 coaching Arizona, winning a national title in 1997. Olson also coached Long Beach State for a year; he replaced Jerry Tarkanian there in 1973-74, going 24-2; he left after a year to coach Iowa. 

Dan Monson has coached Long Beach State for 17 years (275-272), but got fired last week; he made the NCAA’s at Long Beach one other time, in 2012.

Morehead State-Illinois
Illinois coach Underwood has made NCAA’s seven times, for three different schools; he is 4-3 SU/ATS in first round games.

Oakland is in NCAA’s for first time since 2011; over last 11 years, Horizon teams are 4-7 ATS in first round games.

Under John Calipari, Kentucky is 5-6 ATS in first round games. 

Last seven years, MAC teams are 3-4 SU/6-1 ATS in first round games.

Under McDermott, Creighton is 6-2 SU/4-4 ATS in first round games. This is second time Bluejays have been a #3-seed, tied for best seed Creighton has been under McDermott.

Jayhawks have injury issues: Dickinson/McKullar didn’t play in the Big X tournament. Kansas lost four of its last five games.

14 of the last 15 years, a #4-seed lost in the first round. Is Samford good enough to pull an upset?

McNeese State-Gonzaga
While coaching at VCU/LSU, McNeese coach Will Wade was 3-2 SU in first round games. This season, his first at McNeese, Wade has the Cowboys at 30-3, their first winning season since 2012- they’ve won games at VCU, UAB and Michigan.

Since 2003, Gonzaga is 18-2 SU/9-11 ATS in first round games; last time they lost a first round game was 2008, as a #7-seed, to Seth Curry’s Davidson team. 

Duquesne is in NCAA’s for first time since 1977; their coach is Keith Dambrot, who was Lebron James’ high school coach. 

BYU is in NCAA’s for only 2nd time since 2015; they haven’t won an NCAA Tournament game since 2012.

NC State-Texas Tech
Wolfpack won five games in five days to win ACC Tournament, and get to this point; they went 2-7 in their last nine regular season games.

Texas Tech is shooting 36.5% on the arc (#38), getting 33.9% of their points on 3’s (#84).

Oregon-South Carolina
Much like NC State, Ducks were a surprise winner of their conference tournament. Under Dana Altman, Oregon is 7-0 SU in first round games in the NCAA’s. 

This is South Carolina’s 2nd NCAA bid since 2004; they made the Final 4 as a #7-seed in 2017, when Frank Martin was coach.

Drake-Washington State
Bulldogs have #27 eFG% in country, they get good shots. Their best player is Tucker DeVries, the coach’s son; he is shooting 36.4% on arc. Drake is #1 team in country on defensive boards. 

Washington State is in NCAA’s for first time since 2008; they’ve got the #35 eFG% defense.

Nevada won 7 of its last 8 games; CBS left them hanging a little when they announced the brackets- they have to be relieved to be in the tournament. In his coaching career, Steve Alford is 7-5 in first round games.

Dayton split its last four games, after a 21-4 start; they’re shooting 40.2% on the arc, #3 in the country.

Michigan State-Mississippi State
Spartans got in tournament despite losing five of their last seven games. Coach Izzo won five of his last six first round games.

Mississippi State also lost five of its last seven games; coach Jans is in NCAA’s for 5th time in last six years. Bulldogs are #21 team in country on the offensive boards.

Friday’s games
Northwestern-Florida Atlantic
Northwestern is in NCAA’s for 2nd year in row, 3rd time in 8 years; they went 10-2 outside the Big 14, with a #355 non-conference strength of schedule.

FAU was in the Final Four LY, as a #9-seed; they have wins this year over Arizona, Texas A&M and Virginia Tech- they lost 98-89 to Illinois.

Last 10 years, Patriot League teams are 4-6 ATS in first round games; Colgate went 2-2 ATS the last four years, with losses by 7-17-7-20 points.

Since 2016, Baylor is 5-1 SU/4-2 ATS in first round games.

Alabama-Birmingham-San Diego State
UAB won its last five games; they’re only in because they won the AAC Tournament. Blazers are 8-6 vs top 100 teams this season.

San Diego State lost the national title game LY, after losing in first round the first two years before that.

Western Kentucky-Marquette
Hilltoppers play the fastest tempo of any team in country; they won the C-USA Tournament, after losing their last four regular season games. WKU split two games with #95 Louisiana Tech, the best team they played this season.

Marquette’s star G Kolek (oblique) missed the last six games, which Marquette split. Shaka Smart got VCU to the Final Four in 2011; since 2014, he is 1-6 in first round games (beat Vermont 78-61 last year).

Stetson (Jacob deGrom’s alma mater) is in NCAA’s for first time. Over last 10 years, A-SUN teams are 4-6 SU/7-3 ATS in first round games.

UConn won national title last year, after losing in first round the first two years before that. Last six years, #1-seeds are 10-14 ATS in first round games.

New Mexico-Clemson
New Mexico allowed 76+ points in seven of its eight losses. Last eight years, underdogs are 18-14 ATS in first round games between #6-11 seeds.

Clemson lost three of its last four games; since 1998, Tigers are 1-6 SU in first round games.

Yale was down 6 with 0:27 left Sunday, rallied to pull out the win and the Ivy League title. Bulldogs are in NCAA’s for third time in five years; since 2010, Ivy League teams are 9-3 ATS in first round games. 

Auburn won its last six games, five of them by 14+ points; in his career, Bruce Pearl is 8-4 SU/5-7 ATS in first round games, 3-7 as a favorite. 

Texas A&M-Nebraska
Aggies have #345 eFG% in country; they’re #1 in country on offensive boards. A&M won five of its last six games, after an 0-5 skid.

Nebraska has #15 eFG% defense in country.

This year, SEC teams are 9-4 SU/ATS against Big 14 opponents. 

Vermont is in NCAA’s for 5th time in last seven tournaments; they went 2-2 ATS in previous four NCAA games.

Duke is 4-2-1 ATS in its last seven 1st round games. Last five years, #4-seeds are 6-14 ATS in first round games.

Charleston won its last 12 games; LY, they had won 10 in row before losing 63-57 to San Diego State in first round. CAA teams lost their last 10 first-round games (0-4 ATS last four). 

Alabama lost four of its last six games, giving up 100+ points three times.

Early total on this game is 171.5; Alabama plays pace #9, Charleston #59.

Big South teams haven’t won a first round game since 2007 (Winthrop); since 2008, they’re 4-9 ATS in this round. Longwood went 6-10 in Big South this year; they played #344 non-conference schedule.

Houston has #2 eFG% defense in country; they’re #13 team on offensive boards.

James Madison-Wisconsin
Dukes won their last 13 games, longest current win streak in country; they’ve got #24 eFG% defense, #34 eFG%, but that was against schedule #293.

Under Gard, Wisconsin is 4-1 SU/ATS in first round games. Badgers went 3-1 in Big 14 tournament, after losing 8 of last 11 regular season games. 

TCU-Utah State
TCU won first round games last two years, 69-42/72-70. Horned Frogs are forcing turnovers 20.8% of time (#22); they’re #20 team on offensive boards.  

Utah State won six of its last seven games; they’re 12-1 out of conference, vs schedule #141. Aggies were in three of last four NCAA’s, but lost in first round all three times.

Grand Canyon-Saint Mary’s
Grand Canyon is in NCAA’s for 3rd time in four years; they lost other two games, by 12 points each. Antelopes have #10 eFG% defense in country. WAC teams are 4-2 SU/6-0 ATS against WCC opponents, but none of games were against Gonzaga/Saint Mary’s.

Saint Mary’s is best rebounding team in country; since 2017, Gaels are 3-1 in first round games, winning last two years in first round, by 29-12 points.

Author: Armadillo Sports

I've been involved in sports my whole life, now just write about them. I like to travel, mostly to Las Vegas- they have gambling there.