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NCAA Tournament March Madness 2019 first four preview

NCAA Tournament 2019 First Four (March 19, 20) Preview: Games, Start Times, Channel, Odds

Close to one in five Americans will place a wager on March Madness in 2019. With the NCAA Tournament just around the corner, basketball fans are getting ready. Starting on Tuesday, March 19, in Dayton, Ohio, and continuing into March 20, the first four will square off. These lowest-seeded qualifiers and four at-large will square off in do-or-die games.

NCAA March Madness 2019 preview

All First Four games will be broadcast on Tuesday and Wednesday nights on TruTV. Two matchups will air each night at 6:30 p.m. EST and 9 p.m. EST.

Here’s the full schedule below:

Tuesday, March 19

Fairleigh Dickinson vs. Prairie View at 6:40 pm.

The Fairleigh Dickinson Knights finished the regular season with an overall record of 20-13 with non-conference losses to Providence, South Florida, UMass and Rutgers. They’re fresh off an 85-76 win in the conference championship game against top-seeded St. Francis. The Prairie View A&M Panthers are incredibly lucky to be in the tourney. They won their first game of the season but went on to drop 11 straight. They also went 17-1 in conference play and earned the top seed in their conference tournament before winning 92-86 over Texas Southern in the conference championship game.

Tuesday, March 19

Temple vs. Belmont at 9:10 pm

While Temple is a school name that jumps off the page, it’s actually Belmont that’s the higher seed. They’re 3.5 point favorites over the Owls. Belmont has the No. 2 scoring offense in the nation at 87.4 points per game, 1.4 points behind Gonzaga. However, Temple doesn’t get burned by high-paced offenses. In Temple’s two games vs high-scoring Houston, the final scores were 73-66 loss and a 73-69 win.

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Wednesday, March 20

North Carolina Central vs. North Dakota State at 6:40 pm

The winners of this game will take on Duke, the No. 1 favorite to walk away winners on April 8. North Dakota State is currently favored by 5.5 points. After defeating the Norfolk State Spartans this past Saturday, NDS returns to their third straight NCAA Tournament. North Carolina Central has been led by their defense this season.  They’re currently ranked 50th in scoring defense & 17th in rebound margin. However, take these stats with a grain of salt because NCC comes from one of the weakest conferences in the NCAA, the MEAC.

Wednesday, March 20

St. John’s vs. Arizona State at 9:10 pm

St. John’s and Arizona State will square off in hopes of taking on Univesity of Buffalo this week. Currently, Arizona State is favored by just one point. Despite coming into the tournament as a No. 11 seed, St John’s was questionable against conference play. The Red Storm went with an 8-10 mark in Big East conference play and only got to the quarterfinals of their tournament. On the other hand, the Sun Devils finished conference play at 12-6. While both sides are close, expect these numbers to be repeated throughout the game.

Here’s the full 2019 NCAA Tournament bracket:

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Written by Bill Piersa

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