- Texas A&M-Corpus Christi takes on Texas Southern in a First Four matchup on Tuesday, March 15th
- This will be the second consecutive First Four appearance for Texas Southern
- Read below for the Texas A&M-CC vs Texas Southern odds, analysis, and betting prediction
The 2022 NCAA Tournament begins on Tuesday with a pair of First Four matchups in Dayton. The first official game of the tournament pits a couple of number 16 seeds against one another, the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders (23-11, 20-10 ATS) against the Southwestern Athletic Conference tournament champions, the Texas Southern Tigers (18-12, 16-13-1 ATS.)
This is the 10th NCAA tournament appearance for the Tigers, most by any team in the SWAC, while this is just the second time ever that the Islanders have made the dance and first since 2007. This one tips off at 6:40 pm ET from University of Dayton Arena on Tuesday, March 15th, and can be seen live on TRU TV.
Texas A&M-CC vs Texas Southern Odds
|Texas A&M-CC Islanders||+140||+3.5 (-110)||O 134.5 (-120)|
|Texas Southern Tigers||-160||-3.5 (-110)||U 134.5 (+100)|
Odds as of March 14th at DraftKings Sportsbook. See all March Madness first-round odds here.
Texas Southern destroyed Alcorn State 87-62 in the SWAC tournament title game and the Tigers opened up as 3.5-point favorites to defeat the Islanders in this contest. The Islanders defeated Southeastern Louisiana 73-65 to win the Southland Conference Championship and get a berth in the First Four.
The Tigers defeated Mount St. Mary’s 60-52 in a First Four game last year, while the Islanders only other tournament appearance resulted in a 76-63 loss to Wisconsin back in 2007. The winner gets a date with one of the favorites in the March Madness title odds, the Kansas Jayhawks who are the top seed in the Midwest region.
Currently, both the Islanders and Tigers are at +25000 in the odds to make the Final Four, which equals a 0.4% implied probability.
Texas A&M-CC Islanders Betting Analysis
The Islanders are playing some of their best basketball of the season right now having won seven of their last eight games. Their shutdown defense propelled them to victory in the Southland Title game, holding Southeastern without a field goal for the final 5:14 of that matchup.
🏆 𝑪𝑯𝑨𝑴𝑷𝑰𝑶𝑵𝑺 🏆
— Islanders Men’s Basketball (@Islanders_MBB) March 13, 2022
Throughout the Southland tournament, the Islanders excelled without the ball, holding all their opponents to under 70 points and a combined shooting clip of just 34.5% from the field.
Guards Jalen Jackson and Terrion Murdix led the Islanders in scoring with 13 apiece over Southeastern, but Simeon Fryer might be most key to their success against Texas Southern. He had just 7 points in the Southland Title game, but had 20 points in the upset of Nicholls State and 16 against Houston Baptist. He was money from long range shooting a combined 9 of 16 from long distance in those two contests, a 56.2% three point percentage.
— Islanders Men’s Basketball (@Islanders_MBB) March 11, 2022
As a team, the Islanders offense has been sub par all season as they ranked 287th in all of Division I in adjusted offensive efficiency according to the KenPom rankings. They’ll likely need Fryer or somebody else to catch a bit of fire if they want to upset the Tigers on Tuesday.
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Texas Southern Tigers Betting Analysis
The Tigers once again are SWAC champions winning it for the fourth time in the last five years that the tournament was held. After a tough 54-50 victory over Jackson State to open their SWAC tournament, Texas Southern cruised the rest of the way crushing Grambling State 73-54 in the semifinals and stomping Alcorn State by 25 in the title game.
The key to success for Texas Southern this season had been their defense. Incredibly, they rank 13th in the entire nation in effective field goal percentage allowed at 44.9%. That regular season defense continued into the SWAC tournament where they held all three opponents to 20 field goals or less made in each game.
— Texas Southern Basketball (@TSUMensHoops) March 13, 2022
The Tigers also have experience and history on their side when it comes to playing in First Four games. This will be their fourth such contest and after losing the first one, they have won their last two, 64-46 over North Carolina Central in 2018 and 60-52 over Mount St. Mary’s last year.
Texas A&M-CC vs Texas Southern Pick
The Tigers have played much more difficult opponents this year. According to KenPom their non-conference strength of schedule rating was 9th in all of Division I whereas the Islanders ranked 349th. Playing much stiffer competition should have Texas Southern more prepared for a game like this.
𝕋𝕙𝕖 🌊 𝕣𝕠𝕝𝕝𝕤 𝕠𝕟 𝕥𝕠 𝔻𝕒𝕪𝕥𝕠𝕟‼️
— Southland Conference (@SouthlandSports) March 13, 2022
However, the ATS betting trends are heavily on the side of Texas A&M-CC. They’ve covered the spread two out of every three games this season and seven out of their last eight. The Islanders are also very comfortable as the underdog going 9-3 ATS in those situations, while the Tigers are just 10-11-1 ATS as a favorite and 4-3-1 overall in their last eight games.
In addition, these teams have both been holding their opponents to low scoring totals lately and Texas Southern has played great D all year. The over/under in this one is set at 134.5, which feels a little low, even for these two squads, but the nerves often seem to get to players on the big stage.
The totals for the Tigers last two First Four games were 110 against North Carolina Central and 112 against St. Mary’s so 134.5 seems like a comfortable total to go under in this one with good odds at +100.
Pick: Under 134.5 (+100)
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