There are many phenomenal months within the sports activities calendar.
August is an excellent time as Major League Baseball rounds third base on its solution to the postseason, NFL coaching camps get underway and the brand new school soccer season kicks off.
January is nearly as good because it will get for followers of soccer, with the College Football Playoff figuring out the nationwide champion and the NFL Playoffs taking middle stage.
But it’s the month of March that’s held in such excessive regard for the sports activities fan, the ultimate two weeks circled on the calendar as a time to plop down on the sofa and set duties apart.
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It’s March Madness, and you may wager there are folks everywhere in the nation scheming on learn how to get out of labor over the subsequent two days.
Round 1 of the 2023 NCAA Tournament kicks off Thursday, and with 16 video games on the slate, it may be tough to decide on which video games to observe.
Fortunately, Fox News Digital is right here to level out one recreation in every time slot for followers of faculty basketball to deal with.
Let’s take a dive. Happy event day.
10 Utah State vs. 7 Missouri – 1:40 p.m. ET
The 7 vs. 10 matchups are at all times intriguing, and this one is not any completely different.
Missouri enters the sport with a file of 24-9, ending fourth within the powerful Southeastern Conference.
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It’s been an unimaginable turnaround for the Tigers, who went from going 12-21 in 2021-2022 to beating six groups within the prime 25.
Senior guard Kobe Brown leads Missouri in scoring (15.8 factors per recreation), rebounds (6.3) and three-point taking pictures (44.7%), main an offense that averages 79.5 factors per recreation.
The problem is defensively the place Missouri ranks 306th within the nation in factors allowed per recreation (74.6).
On the opposite hand, Utah State is thirty second in school basketball in factors per recreation, averaging 78.6.
Junior guard Steven Ashworth leads the Aggies in scoring (16.3 factors per recreation) and shoots 44.3% from past the three-point line.
12 College of Charleston vs. 5 San Diego State – 3:10 p.m. ET
This is a enjoyable matchup for followers of mid-major school basketball.
Charleston enters the event on everyone’s checklist as a candidate to upset a higher-seeded crew, and San Diego State has a stable NCAA Tournament historical past.
The Cougars enter the event with the sixth-longest profitable streak within the nation and winners of 31 video games throughout the common season.
They shoot a ton of threes – averaging 30.2 makes an attempt per recreation – however make simply 33.4% of these makes an attempt.
Charleston spreads the wealth, with 5 gamers averaging double-digits per recreation, and so they’re third within the nation in bench scoring, per ESPN. If the Cougars get scorching from past the arc, be careful.
For the Aztecs, protection guidelines the day as they’re twenty ninth within the nation in factors allowed per recreation at 63.6.
San Diego State permits groups to shoot simply 29.3% from the three-point line, ninth within the nation.
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They’re led in scoring by senior guard Matt Bradley, who averages 12.9 factors per recreation.
It ought to be a enjoyable matchup in Orlando.
12 Oral Roberts vs. 5 Duke – 7:10 p.m. ET
The Duke Blue Devils entered the season as the good unknown, with out coach Mike Krzyzewski main this system for the primary time since 1980.
The Cameron Crazies have been not sure of what to anticipate from first-year head coach Jon Scheyer, who was reportedly hand-picked by Krzyzewski to guide this system.
After some early and midseason stumbles, Scheyer has led the Blue Devils to the most effective file of any crew with a first-year head coach in Duke historical past, going undefeated at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Duke enters the event on a nine-game profitable streak, taking down two top-15 groups en route to a different ACC Tournament title.
The Blue Devils have gotten scorching at simply the precise time, led by freshman Kyle Filipowski, who’s averaging 15.4 factors and 9.0 rebounds per recreation.
But Duke is younger, and whereas they went 16-0 at house, the Blue Devils have been 7-8 away from Durham, N.C., with a matchup towards an skilled Oral Roberts crew in Orlando, Florida, on the docket.
The Golden Eagles enter the event with the nation’s longest profitable streak (17) and a file of 30-4.
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Two years in the past, Oral Roberts made a shock Sweet 16 run after beating Ohio State and Florida within the first two rounds.
Three gamers from that crew have led the Golden Eagles throughout the 2022-2023 season, with guard Max Abmas main the crew in scoring (22.2) and assists per recreation (4.0).
Oral Roberts is second within the nation in made threes per recreation (10.8 made per recreation) and enters the sport as an attractive upset choose.
Three of the 4 losses for the Golden Eagles this season got here towards event groups, with losses to St. Mary’s (misplaced by 8), Houston (misplaced by 38) and Utah State (misplaced by 10).
13 Louisiana vs. 4 Tennessee – 9:40 p.m. ET
The Volunteers have top-of-the-line defenses within the nation, permitting simply 58.0 factors per recreation, and so they’re second in discipline aim share allowed (36.9%) and first in three-point share (26.2%).
But the lack of level guard Zakai Zeigler in late February hurts, with Zeigler out for the remainder of the season with a torn ACL.
Zeigler was Tennessee’s main ball handler, and the Vols enter the event losers of two of three with out their level guard.
At one level, the Vols have been 18-4 and ranked No. 2 within the nation, however they went 5-7 down the stretch and enter the tourney at 23-10.
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For Louisiana, the Ragin’ Cajuns enter the event after profitable the Sun Belt Tournament, going 26-7 on the season.
Louisiana was third within the Sun Belt in factors per recreation (78.0), main the convention in discipline aim share (48.4%) and three-point share (37.8%).
They’re led by ahead Jordan Brown, a 6-11 junior who’s a former McDonald’s All-American.
Brown averages 19.4 factors and eight.7 rebounds per recreation.
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