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NCAA Tournament 2021 – #16 Texas Southern Tigers (16-8) vs #16 Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers (12-10)

Two Underdogs Meet in Game One

Our Texas Southern vs Mount St Mary’s pick is the first of the First Four March Madness games that will be held on Thursday, March 18. This NCAA Tournament 2021 contest will decide which of these two teams plays first-seed Michigan in the East on Saturday, March 20. This First Four game will be played at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall in Bloomington, IN. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:10 pm ET.

The Tigers come to this contest after finishing third in the Southwestern Athletic Conference and taking down their tournament. They’ve won nine straight games. The Mountaineers also finished third in their conference. They then won the Northeast Conference championship by upsetting Bryant 73-68. Mount St Mary’s has won four games in a row and are 7-3 in their last 10 matchups.

Texas Southern vs Mount St Mary’s Pick – Stats

The Tigers are scoring 74.8 PPG while hitting 45% of their shots from the field. Texas Southern is good on only 27.6% of their threes. They’re sinking 69.9% of their frees. Under the basket, the Tigers are grabbing 41.6 RPG. They are dishing off 12.4 APG. On defense, the team is averaging 7.2 SPG and 4.6 BPG. Turnovers come in at 16.0 PG.

The Mountaineers are averaging just 63.7 PPG. Along with scoring fewer points per game than the Tigers, their overall shot rates are also lower. Mount St. Mary’s is connecting on 42.6% of their field goals and 67.8% of their free throws. However, when shooting threes, the Mountaineers are a good six points better than their opponents, hitting 33.7% of their attempts. Their turnover rate is just 13.1 per game. However, they are taking down only 37.7 RPG and making only 11.7 APG. Finally, MSM is averaging 4.4 SPG and 4.1 BPG.

Key Players

For the Tigers, guard Michael Weathers leads all scorers, averaging 16.5 PPG. He’s also recorded 5.2 RPG and 3.6 APG while averaging 48.8% from the field. In the paint, forwards John Walker and Joirdon Karl Nicholas offer point production and rebounding. Walker is good for 12.0 PPG and 5.4 RPG. Counterpart Nicholas is bringing down 7.0 RPG while scoring 11.3 PPG. Both are 55-plus-percent shooters.

Guard Damian Chong Qui runs the show for the Mountaineers. Qui is averaging 5.5 APG and 15.1 PPG while hitting 34.7% of his threes and 38.0% of his field goals. Three forwards, Nana Opoku, Mezie Offurum, Malik Jefferson, perform the majority of the work upfront. Together, the trio is averaging 20.8 RPG and 28.6 PPG. Opoku is good for two blocks per game, while Jefferson is a 57.9% field goal shooter.

Texas Southern vs Mount St Mary’s Pick – Final Thoughts

Our Texas Southern vs Mount St Mary’s pick notes that both of these teams got here by winning their tournaments as underdogs. The Mountaineers are a fine three-point team, while the Tigers can ably mix it up in the paint. We like Texas Southern at -2.0 (-105). They’re solid rebounders and have excellent ball movement. Also, see our other First Four picks – Drake vs Wichita State, Appalachian State vs Norfolk State, and UCLA vs Michigan State.

#16 Texas Southern Tigers vs #16 Mount St Mary’s Mountaineers

Texas Southern Tigers at -2.0 (-105).


Paul has been writing about sports betting and sports for more than a decade, offering picks on the NFL, MLB, NHL, and NBA, as well as on college sports and European football. He's written thousands of season and post-season previews, innumerable articles on sports betting strategies, and various books on sports and sports betting.

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