Games You Can’t Miss: San Diego State Vs. Creighton, Texas Tech Vs. Montana State, and More

This section is featured in SLAM’s 2022 MBB March Madness Preview. Here, we take a look at some of the games you don’t want to miss during the first round. This section is featured in our Women’s March Madness Preview. Tap in here.

Texas Tech Vs. Montana State

Texas Tech’s men’s basketball team was chosen to be the No. 3 seed in the West Regional Division of the 2022 NCAA National Tournament. Their first match-up will be against No. 14 seed Montana State. Considered a well-balanced head-to-head match-up, Texas Tech (25-9) (12-6 Big 12) conference play record. Montana State is primed to put on a show on the other side and look capable of holding their weight at (27-7) (16-4 Big Sky).

The two veteran guards, Jubrile Belo (13.0 points and 6.8 rebounds per game) and Xavier Bishop (13.9 points and 3.3 rebounds per game) lead the Bobcats as two-way forces from the forward and guard spots, respectively.

Meanwhile, Texas Tech’s lineup is filled with depth. Bryson Williams, the 6’8 forward, is averaging 13.7 points and 4.3 rebounds per game while shooting 53.4 percent from the field. Terrance Shannon Jr. is the second player averaging double digits with 10.4 points and 2.8 rebounds per game. With numbers like these going head to head with what Montana State brings to the table, there’s no denying how great of a game this could be. 

Texas Vs. Virginia Tech

The Texas Longhorns will face off against the Virginia Tech Hokies in the first round of the NCAA Men’s National Tournament. The Hokies pulled off an impressive 82-67 upset win over Duke in the ACC championship game, the first ACC title in program history. The Hokies were led to the title by Hunter Cattoor, who scored 31 points and four rebounds.

As for the Longhorns, they have entered the postseason on a downward spiral after winning just five of their last 10 games, including losing four straight that began with a 65-60 loss to TCU. Texas is now ranked number 68 in the country in steals (averaging 7.7); fans can only hope this defense carries over in their game against a Virginia Tech team looking to continue their championship run for as long as possible.

Timmy Allen, star forward, standing at 6’6, is averaging 12.3 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 1.3 steals a game while shooting close to 50.5 percent from the field. The Hokies seem to have something to match that with 6’9 forward Keve Aluma. Keve Aluma averages 15.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.9 assists per game on 53.4 percent from the field.

San Diego State Vs. Creighton 

Creighton, who made a solid run for the Big East conference championship, fell short in the final match-up against a skilled and willed Villanova. Don’t count the Blue Jays out yet, though. Creighton now has a shot at redemption, with the selection committee giving them a No. 9 seed in the Midwest Conference. In the first round, they are set to face the No. 8 seeded San Diego State.

San Diego State has also lost in the Mountain West conference championship game, taking a tough 53-52 loss to Boise State. Creighton reached the Sweet 16 last year, losing to Gonzaga. They currently shoot 30.7 percent from the three-point line, 72.9 percent from the free-throw line, and 45.0 percent from the field collectively.

San Diego State suffered the same fate with losing to Gonzaga last year in the round of 64. The Aztecs are currently shooting 35.8 percent from the three-point line, 69.5 percent from the free-throw line, and 43.3 percent from the field. Both teams’ overall records show that they can make a run if they all play with high levels of effort and intensity and as a team. San Diego State currently has a 23-8 record (13-4 Mountain West), while Creighton has a 22-11 winning record (12-7 Big East).

The winner will likely face No. 1 Kansas in the round of 32.

Houston Vs. UAB

The UAB Blazers will face off against the Houston Cougars on Friday in the opening round of the NCAA Men’s National Championship Tournament. The Blazers (27-7) have won their last five games, including the Conference USA championship against Louisiana Tech, 82-73.

The Cougars are entering this game with an impressive 29-5 record, bringing along the AAC Championship that they beat Memphis for, 71-53. Kyler Edwards averages 13.6 points and 6.0 rebounds per game while shooting 36.9 percent from the field and 71.8 percent from the free-throw line. Another key for the Cougars is Josh Carlton, who leads the team with 6.4 rebounds per game.

As far as Blazers go, Jordan Walker has made his stamp as the leader for the Blazers. The New Jersey native currently leads the team with 20.4 ppg this season while shooting 40.3 percent from the field and 88.3% from the free-throw line. Walker played 31.6 minutes this season, leading the Blazers in minutes while dishing 4.8 assists per game.

Expect an all-out brawl in this match-up with the Houston Cougars facing the UAB Blazers this Friday at 9:20 pm ET.