The 2023 NCAA Tournament will officially begin for the SEC on Tuesday night, as Mississippi State and Pittsburgh collide in the First Four matchup of the Midwest Region. With both teams listed as No. 11 seeds, the Bulldogs and Panthers have only played once head-to-head on the hardwood ever, with Pittsburgh having won the previous meeting back in 2001, 66-61.
Beginning with a look at Mississippi State, the Bulldogs currently own a 21-12 overall record in what is year one under head coach Chris Jans, one that also included an 8-10 mark in SEC play to finish ninth in the conference. Coming off a quarterfinal round appearance at the SEC Tournament, the Bulldogs are a No. 11 seed in the 2023 NCAA Tournament, and are making their first March Madness appearance since the 2018-19 season in which they made a first round exit as a five-seed.
One of the SEC’s top defensive teams, the Bulldogs currently rank No. 11 nationally with only 61 PPG allowed to opponents, while also averaging 65.9 PPG offensively led by forward Tolu Smith, who is currently averaging 15.8 PPG and 8.5 RPG for the year. Also one of the SEC’s top teams in steals averaging 8.8 per game, the Bulldogs have three others who each average at-least 8+ PPG in Shakeel Moore, DJ Jeffries, and Dashawn Davis, while others such as Cameron Matthews and William McNair play key roles.
As for Pittsburgh, the Panthers are currently sitting at 22-11 overall for the season, one that also included a 14-6 mark in ACC play to finish at fifth in the conference during the regular season. An 11-seed in the NCAA Tournament, the Panthers are coming off a quarterfinal round appearance at the ACC Tournament, and will be making their first March Madness appearance since the 2015-16 season, as well as the first in year five under head coach Jeff Capel.
The Panthers are one of the ACC’s top teams when it comes to made three-pointers per game by averaging 9.2, while also averaging 76.1 PPG offensively led by two All-ACC players in Jamarius Burton and Blake Hinson, both of which average 15+ PPG. Pittsburgh also allows 70.5 PPG to opponents, and have two other double-digit scorers in Nelly Cummings and Greg Elliott, while Nike Sabande and Federiko Federiko are also key names.
Mississippi State vs Pittsburgh Line, Spread, Over/Under
As of Monday afternoon, Mississippi State is a 1.5-point favorite over Pittsburgh according to FanDuel, with the over/under at 133.5. The Bulldogs are -126, while the Panthers are +105.
Mississippi State vs Pittsburgh 2023 NCAA Tournament Prediction
The SEC’s first game of the 2023 NCAA Tournament, my pick here is for the conference to begin March Madness on a winning note. I’ll say that Mississippi State’s defense plays a role, and the Bulldogs win a close, low-scoring contest to advance to the Round of 64. Prediction: Mississippi State 72, Pittsburgh 69
What Channel is the Mississippi State vs Pittsburgh Game On?
A First Four matchup in the Midwest Region of the 2023 NCAA Tournament, Mississippi State and Pittsburgh will meet Tuesday, March 14 from UD Arena in Dayton, OH. The matchup between No. 11 seeds will tipoff at 9:10 PM ET on truTV.
Mississippi State vs Pittsburgh Live Stream
A live stream of the First Four matchup between Mississippi State and Pittsburgh can be found on fuboTV here.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change