Look below to find our top March Madness predictions for all the First Four action on Tuesday, March 15.
#16 Texas A&M CC vs #16 Texas Southern – pm ET
This is an all Texas showdown as the champions of the Southland Conference meet the champions of the Southwestern Athletic Conference otherwise known as the SWAC. Both of these teams will be looking to earn the right to play the Kansas Jayhawks on Thursday.
The Texas Southern Tigers and the Texas A&M-CC Islanders will face off in the First Four hoping to get in the final bracket. The Tigers are 3.5-point favorites in this one. They finished the regular season on top of the SWAC with an 18-12 record after losing the first seven games of the season. They dominantly won their conference and seem ready to make it to the final tournament. The Tigers score 69 points per game and no player is averaging double-digits in points. The Tigers have covered the spread in 11 of the last 14 games on a neutral field.
The Islanders won the Southland Conference after finishing the regular season on top with a 23-11 record. They have won 7 of the last 8 games. The Islanders are scoring over 77 points per game and are 41st in the nation and fast-paced basketball is the recipe that will lead them to the NCAA tournament. They have covered the spread in the last 4 games overall and the last 4 games on a neutral field. These two teams have played only once before in 2007 with the Tigers winning 72-64.
Marko’s College Basketball Pick: Texas A&M-CC (+140)
The Texas Southern Tigers are favorites in this one against their fellow Texas counterparts. The Tigers made a great run through the Southwestern Athletic Conference Tournament to get here. They come into this game with a record of 18-12 up until this point. They won three games in three days to capture the Southwestern Athletic Conference tournament championship after finishing 2nd in the regular season. Now they will look to get a fourth straight tournament win and advance to the first round of the NCAA tournament on Thursday.
— Texas Southern Basketball (@TSUMensHoops) March 13, 2022
The Texas A&M Corpus Christi Islanders are coming into this game as champions of the Southland conference tournament. The Islanders finished the season with a record of 23-11 on the year. They won three games in three days to capture the Southland conference tournament championship after finishing 4th in the regular season. As for the result of this game I have the Islanders getting the victory in this one over Texas Southern as I am picking my first upset of March in the first four.
Tony’s College Basketball Pick: Texas A&M-CC (+140)
The first game of this year’s NCAA tournament comes with an all Texas matchup, as Texas Southern takes on Texas A&M-CC in the first four. Both of these, as expected, had to win their respective conference tournaments, with TSU coming out of the SWAC, and were dominant for much of that, especially in conference play, after dropping their first seven games of the year. The one concern that I have about this Tigers squad is the fact that the offense struggles at times, as they don’t have a single-player averaging double-digit point per game.
On the other side, the Texas A&M-CC Islanders come in having won the Southland Conference tournament. They play an up-tempo style of ball that allows for a lot of points, but exactly opposite of TSU, they don’t play much defense. Despite changes in the game over the years, I’m still a believer in the notion that defense wins championships, and when it comes to postseason play, that’s extremely important. I’m glad that one branch of Texas A&M made it in (as the Aggies should have as well), but I think it’s a short run for the Islanders. Give me Texas Southern in a close one.
Noah’s College Basketball Pick: Texas Southern (-170)
#12 Wyoming vs #12 Indiana – pm ET
The Wyoming Cowboys and Indiana Hoosiers are playing for the right to take on the number five seed Saint Mary’s on Thursday. This game could very well go down to the wire and potentially overtime.
The Indiana Hoosiers are four-point favorites in the First Four matchup against the Wyoming Cowboys. They finished the regular season on top of the Big Ten with a 20-13 record and had a promising performance in the conference tournaments. Indiana made it to the final game where they lost 80-77 to Iowa after defeating Michigan and Illinois in the previous rounds. Indiana scores 71.4 points per game, 6 more than what they allow. Sophomore forward Trayve Jackson-Davis is having an amazing season averaging 18.1 points and 8.2 rebounds. If he plays on his level, the Cowboys will have no chance against Indiana.
Wyoming finished the regular season on top of the Mountain West Conference with a 25-8 record. They lost in the second round of the conference tournament to Boise State which was a tough pill to swallow. Five different players have led the team in scoring in the last five games which speaks enough of the team spirit the Cowboys have. They have covered the spread in 4 of the last 5 games as underdogs on the neutral field but that will not be the case against Indiana.
Marko’s College Basketball Pick: Indiana (-188)
The Wyoming Cowboys were knocked out of the Mountain West Conference tournament in the semifinals by Boise State. Despite not getting the automatic bid the Cowboys still had a strong season as they finished the year out at 25-8 and got an at-large bid. Wyoming is a potential dark horse sweet 16 or elite eight-team in my opinion, but they will have to get past a red hot Indiana Hoosiers team in this one first which will certainly be no easy task.
How about a little dancing?
— Indiana Basketball (@IndianaMBB) March 14, 2022
The previously mentioned Indiana Hoosiers come into this game having made a huge run to the Big Ten conference tournament semifinals where it took a buzzer-beater to knock them off. They played their way into the tournament with some clutch wins this past week or so. They are one of the most dangerous teams in the entire field in my opinion. As long as Trace Jackson-Davis can stay healthy and consistent this team could make some serious noise, that is why I have them getting the win in this one.
Tony’s College Basketball Pick: Indiana (-188)
This should end up being a close matchup between a middle-of-the-pack Big Ten team taking on one of the best teams from the Mountain West. The Indiana Hoosiers come in as a surprisingly quiet team that put together a decent year. They finished at 20-13, but a good run through the conference tournament is what eventually propelled them to get an at-large berth after dropping the conference title game to Iowa. For much of the year they’ve played a typical Hoosier style of ball, ugly, slowed down, and physical, but during the later part of the year, and through the conference tournament, they opened things up a bit more and it seemed to have worked.
Now they take on the Wyoming Cowboys, who were one of the best teams from the Mountain West all year long. The Cowboys come into this one after dropping a matchup to Boise State in the conference tournament, and I’m not sure exactly where their confidence level is going to lie. The one thing to point out with this team is the fact that they don’t have a single go-to guy when they need a bucket, or that they know is going to put up good numbers night in and night out, as it seems like every game for Wyoming they have a different leading scorer. A Mountain West team that struggled in the conference tournament, without a singular reliable player, has me worried when it comes to their success against a pretty physical Big Ten squad. Give me Indiana in this one, as I think the size and physicality prove to be the difference-maker.
Noah’s College Basketball Pick: Indiana (-188)
If you need more news, information, and predictions, head over to our College Basketball hub page for all your college basketball needs!
*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.