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Quick Takes: First Four Picks

QuickTakesThe 2022 First Four begins tonight in Dayton with eight teams vying for four spots in the 64-team field.  After a canceled season in 2020 – and a season with games held only in Indianapolis in 2021 –  watching games at multiple locations in packed arenas rekindles great memories.  Let the Madness begin!

Here are my quick picks for the First Four:

TUESDAY: Texas Southern over Texas AM-CC
Texas Southern ranks 44 slots higher in the NET ratings and beat Florida in early December.  Predictive metrics also lean heavily in Southern’s favor – so I’m going with the Tigers to advance and face Kansas in Fort Worth.

TUESDAY: Indiana over Wyoming
The Hoosiers closed their season with a two-point loss at Purdue, wins over Michigan and Illinois, and a last-second loss to Iowa at the Big Ten tournament.  One of the nation’s better defensive teams, Indiana should slow down the Cowboys and emerge victorious – advancing to play Saint Mary’s.

WEDNESDAY: Wright State over Bryant
Neither team fared well during their non-conference seasons, although Wright State knocked of North Carolina State in Raleigh.  In what figures to be a toss-up, I’ll take the Raiders who should have a decisive home-crowd advantage at UD Arena.  The Raiders earn a trip to face top-seeded Arizona.

WEDNESDAY: Rutgers over Notre Dame
Simple math tells a story.  Rutgers enters with eight (8) victories over teams in this year’s Field; Notre Dame won just three, going 4-9 against its best competition.  I’ll take the team that has a better track record against quality competition.  The Scarlet Knights advance to play Alabama.

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