March Madness 2019: 5 Must-watch Games In The First Round
Before the madness kicks in, Nitrogen Sports Blog examines some of the most intriguing March Madness round 1 matchups in the 2019 NCAA National Tournament.
LSU Tigers vs Yale Bulldogs
LSU is dealing with some off-court controversy as head coach Will Wade is still suspended for his alleged involvement in paying a player to come and play in Baton Rouge. That doesn’t sound good for the SEC regular season champions heading into an NCAA Tournament round 1 meeting with Yale.
With interim coach Tony Benford at the helm, LSU stumbled and lost to the Florida Gators in the SEC Tournament. Yale, on the other hand, cruised past the Harvard Crimson in the Ivy League Conference Tournament to land a spot in the Big Dance.
LSU is clearly the better team with a better resume, but Yale can hit jumpers and is looking to repeat their 2016 performance when it upset the No. 5 seed Baylor Bears.
Marquette Golden Eagles vs Murray State Racers
Murray State is a defensive menace, and it definitely wants Markus Howard and company to feel its stout defense in one of the most anticipated March Madness round 1 matchups.
The Racers create possessions by forcing turnovers and pounding the offensive boards. Plus, they have the ability to score from anywhere. That doesn’t bode well for Marquette.
The Golden Eagles might be susceptible to an upset loss in the first round due to their own turnover problems. Marquette will need to reverse its late-season swoon to survive Ja Morant and the Racers.
Auburn Tigers vs. New Mexico State Aggies
The Tigers excel on both ends of the court. They defend the three ball well and have plenty of sharpshooters with six players shooting above 32 percent from downtown.
But New Mexico State is extremely efficient as well. The Aggies have also been heating up from beyond the arc. They’ll need to keep up the hot shooting to take out the Tigers.
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Wisconsin Badgers vs. Oregon Ducks
Wisconsin’s coach Greg Gard says they need to worry about their game and forget about seedings. The Badgers beat quality teams in 2018, but Oregon is not your average 12 seed.
The Ducks stormed to the Pac-12 Tournament title in the midst of an eight-game winning streak. Oregon guard Payton Pritchard is on a mission. He says the Ducks got a chip on their shoulder and are determined to prove they are much better than their seed or national rank claim.
Ole Miss Rebels vs. Oklahoma Sooners
The Rebels surprised a lot of people this year. Many figured Ole Miss as an SEC bottom dweller, but the team surpassed expectations exponentially, yet the Rebels are here preparing to go to battle against the Sooners in a March Madness round 1 showdown.
However, many of the Rebels’ wins came against inferior competition. Meanwhile, Oklahoma fared better against a tougher schedule. Oklahoma can be dangerous as a defensive team, one that hasn’t given up more than 80 points in a game all season long.
Stay tuned for more of the Madness at Nitrogen Sports Blog, as the NCAA National Tournament progresses throughout the month and into April.
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