DAYTON, Ohio (March 15, 2023) – Mississippi State and Pittsburgh are set to kick off the March Madness festivities on Tuesday as they go head-to-head in the NCAA First Four action at the UD Arena in Dayton, Ohio. The University of Dayton will play host to the exciting encounter, which will be broadcasted live on TRU TV, with live radio streaming and live stats also available.
The Midwest Region First Four matchup will feature the Bulldogs and the Panthers, both seeded at No. 11. A win in this contest could give either team the much-needed boost to make a deeper run into the national tournament this year. – Read more: Arizona vying for tournament redemption, starting vs. Princeton
Where To Watch March Madness First Four?
Who: Mississippi State and Pittsburgh
What: NCAA First Four action
Where: UD Arena, Dayton, Ohio
When: Tuesday, March 14, 9:10 p.m. ET
Why: To kick off the March Madness festivities
How: Watch live streaming coverage on TRU TV while live radio stream and live stats will also be available. WATCH: MSU VS. PITT – TRU TV | Live Stats: StatBroadcast (https://hailst.at/MBKLiveStats) | Affiliates: WKBB-FM 100.9 Starkville/West Point (Full List: https://hailst.at/MBKAffiliates)
Free Online Audio: Hail State On-Demand (https://hailst.at/MBKListen); The Varsity Network App
Mississippi State comes into the game with an overall record of 20-11 and 8-10 in the SEC. The Bulldogs will be making their 12th appearance in the NCAA Tournament, with eight of those coming since 2001-02. Meanwhile, the Panthers, with an overall record of 22-11 and 14-6 in the ACC, will be making their 27th NCAA Tournament appearance, and their first under the leadership of head coach Jeff Capel.
The starting backcourt duo of Nelly Cummings and Jamarius Burton will be leading the Panthers. The two players have combined for 2,964 points, 853 rebounds, 842 assists, and 242 steals in their careers spanning 293 games. Together, they averaged 26.6 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 9.2 assists per game.
Individually, Pittsburgh has four players averaging double figures, with Burton leading the way at 15.6 PPG, 4.8 RPG, and 4.4 APG. He is an All-ACC First-Team pick along with Blake Hinson, who transferred from Ole Miss and was an All-ACC Second-Team selection, averaging 15.6 PPG, 6.2 RPG, and 1.2 APG. Nelly Cummings (11.0 PPG, 4.8 APG) and Greg Elliott (10.4 PPG, 3.8 RPG) round out the quartet of players averaging in double figures.
On the other side, Tolu Smith will be hoping to continue his excellent form for Mississippi State. Smith averaged 15.8 PPG, 8.5 RPG, and 1.7 APG, and is one of five SEC players to receive All-SEC First-Team and All-SEC Preseason First-Team honors.
Mississippi State and Pittsburgh have met once before in the postseason, with the Bulldogs coming out on top with a 66-61 win in the 2001 NIT Round of 16. Assistant coach at NCAA Tournament-bound Louisiana-Lafayette, Derrick Zimmerman, provided a team-leading 15 points off the bench.