Fairleigh Dickinson vs Texas Southern March Madness Odds: SWAC Champions Are the Slight Favorites

Texas Southern Tigers Look to Roar Again After Another SWAC Championship Run

Division II Transfer Leading the Way for Fairleigh Dickinson

Welcome to a First Four March Madness and a matchup featuring teams with recent NCAA play-in game experience. The Fairleigh Dickinson vs Texas Southern March Madness odds favor the Tigers in the play-in game in the East Region.

Texas Southern finished sixth in the SWAC during the regular NCAAB season and had only one three-game winning streak heading into the conference tournament. FDU lost in the Northeast Conference tournament at Merrimack. Since Merrimack is still transitioning from Division II to Division I, the Knights received the conference’s automatic bid into the tournament.

Texas Southern is the 2-point favorite thanks to having more players with NCAA tournament experience.

This is Fairleigh Dickinson’s seventh NCAA tournament appearance and first since 2019. Texas Southern is making its third straight trip to the NCAAs and seventh trip since 2014.

Texas Southern: A SWAC 3-Peat

The third time was a little sweeter than the last two SWAC title times because of the bumpy road traveled by Texas Southern during the regular season. Now the Fairleigh Dickinson vs Texas Southern March Madness odds favors the Tigers to survive and advance.

How They Got Here

Trailing top-seeded Alcorn State in the first round of the SWAC tournament, senior forward John Walker scored nine of his 13 points and also had an assist during a 17-0 run that turned a one-point deficit into a 16-point lead. He added 14 points, three rebounds, four assists and five blocked shots in the championship game against Grambling as the Tigers are headed back to the NCAA tournament.

He is a major reason why the Tigers led the SWAC in rebounds and rebound margin.

Texas Southern outrebounded its three opponents by 20 and was +10 in offensive rebounding.

Senior guard PJ Henry had 45 points and eight 3-pointers in the semifinal and title game victories as Texas Southern won the SWAC tournament for the third season in a row. Texas Southern has covered against the college basketball betting lines in each of the last three games and each of those games also went under the total.

How Far Will They Go

This will be a fun matchup. However, even if the Tigers win, things will get real when they face No. 1 seed Purdue and 7-foot-4 national player of the year front-runner Zach Edey.

When looking at the Fairleigh Dickinson vs Texas Southern March Madness odds, Texas Southern is priced at +10000 to win the national title.

Fairleigh Dickinson: When Second Best Is Good Enough

The seniors came into the program after the last NCAA tournament game by FDU so this will be a new experience for the Knights.

How They Got Here

Fairleigh Dickinson trailed for a total of 71 seconds in the quarterfinals and semifinals in the Northeast Conference tournament. That was pretty much all the Knights needed to do once Merrimack secured a spot in the title game since Merrimack wasn’t eligible for the NCAA tournament.

Demetre Roberts averaged 15 points in the three NEC tournament games. Even more impressive were his 17 assists and six turnovers in the three games.

He has made an immediate impact after transferring in from Division II St. Thomas Aquinas.

Sophomore Ansley Almonor added 13.3 points in the tournament as the highest scoring team in the conference is headed to the NCAAs

Fairleigh Dickinson has covered against the NCAA basketball odds in three of its last four games.

How Far Will They Go?

It is the same as above with the large shadow case by top-seeded Purdue awaiting the winner of this game. Going with the Big Ten champions will be among the best March Madness bets.

Handicapping the Game

There is no history between these teams even though Fairleigh Dickinson did beat SWAC champion Prairie View A&M in its last trip to the NCAA tournament.

Texas Southern has players who took part in each of the last two NCAA tournaments. However, that experience wasn’t enough to keep the Tigers from losing 20 games during the regular season.

Junior guard Isaiah Marin hasn’t played since mid February, senior center Grayson Carter has missed the last six games. Shaqir O’Neal, the son of Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal, has been out for the last four games.

FDU has no such injury-related issues. According to the Sagarin conference ratings, the NEC is 32nd out of 32 conferences in the power ratings while the SWAC comes in at No. 30 so it is not a surprise that these two programs landed in the East’s play-in game.

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