Pittsburgh vs. Mississippi State 2023 March Madness First Four Picks & Prediction: ACC & SEC in Early Showdown

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Dashawn Davis #10 of the Mississippi State Bulldogs shoots the ball against the Alabama Crimson Tide on March 10, 2023. Carly Mackler/Getty Images/AFP

NCAAB Top Pick for Today

NCAAB Pick: Mississippi St. -1.5 (-108) at Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review

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Mississippi St. -1.5 (-108)
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Picks Summary:

  • Mississippi St. -1.5 (-108)
  • Under 132.5 (-108)

It has been a while since either Pittsburgh or Mississippi State won an NCAA Tournament game. That will change for one of those sides when the Panthers and Bulldogs meet on Tuesday’s college basketball betting card. 

Remember, fans from the Keystone State who want to wager on this game should check out our top-rated Pennsylvania betting sites.

Pittsburgh Panthers vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs 

Tuesday, March 14, 2023 – 09:10 PM EDT at UD Arena 

General consensus this season had the Big 12 as the top conference in the country, and that has painted a target on each of the seven teams in the league that received invitations to the NCAA Tournament on Sunday. 

A couple of teams that would like first crack at taking the Big 12 down a notch are Pittsburgh from the ACC and Mississippi State from the SEC, with the winner of their First Four matchup on Tuesday heading to the Midwest Region to face No. 6 seed Iowa State in Greensboro. 

Bulldogs Slight Favorites 

In a battle to see who gets that full-fledged 11-seed in the Midwest, it’s the Bulldogs who are carrying a little chalk over the Panthers in the tightly-lined affair.

Like most other reputable shops, BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review) is offering Mississippi State at -1.5. 

Pittsburgh and Mississippi State come into the tournament with contrasting trends in the totals columns, and the number for scoreboard bettors to beat is 132.5, that number on the increase since first going out 130. 

Hitting 3’s a Huge Problem for MSU 

There were some tense moments for Chris Jans and his Mississippi State bunch over the weekend as they waited to see if they were going to be part of the Big Dance for the first time since 2019. 

The Bulldogs were axed from the SEC Tournament in the quarterfinals, and decisively so by Alabama in a 72-49 final. They closed as 8-point underdogs at Heritage Sports and were never inside that number after the 7:58 mark in the first half

Mississippi State shot a pathetic 1-for-13 from beyond the arc against the Crimson Tide and got just 8 points from the bench while Alabama subs rang up 25. That effort followed a 2-for-14 effort from 3-point land in the 69-68 overtime win against Florida. 

Not that we didn’t expect the Bulldogs to struggle from long range; Mississippi State finished last in the country in 3-point shooting this season (26.6%). 

Can Pitt Return to Greensboro? 

A win for Jeff Capel III and the Panthers would complete a round trip they began last week. Pittsburgh was in Greensboro for the ACC Tournament and got things underway with an 89-81 win over Georgia Tech in the second round. 

The Panthers built a 15-point lead over the Yellowjackets in the first half and enjoyed a balanced scoring effort with all five starters scoring in double digits and the team shooting better than 56% from the field. 

None of that carried over in a 96-69 loss to Duke in the quarterfinals.

With the Blue Devils favored by 5 on the NCAAB odds, Pittsburgh fell behind 12-0 a little more than 3 minutes into the contest and never could catch up with the Blue Devils who shot 62% in the game. 

Both Teams in NCAA Tournament Dry Spells 

Mississippi State last went dancing as a 5-seed in 2019 and was promptly bounced by No. 12 seed Liberty in the first round. The Bulldogs were favored by 7 in that loss, and the final easily got past the 133-point total. 

Pittsburgh most recently took part in March Madness as a 10-seed out of the ACC in 2016, and the Panthers were 1-point chalk in a first-round setback against Wisconsin. The 47-43 final was the only game of that tournament not to break the 100-point barrier. 

Programs Collide for Just the 2nd Time 

This is just the second meeting ever between Pittsburgh and Mississippi State, and the first came 21 years ago in the second round of the NIT. The Panthers, then part of the Big East, hosted that contest inside tiny Fitzgerald Fieldhouse, and the Bulldogs pulled off the 66-61 upset. 

  • Pitt faced one SEC team this season, losing at Vanderbilt 75-74 as the 3½-point underdog at the best online betting sites. 
  • Mississippi State did not face an ACC team this season, also losing at Vanderbilt by a similar 77-72 score, only as a small favorite in the regular season finale. 

More Cowbell – Bulldogs Advance 

Duke rained 3’s on Pittsburgh in the ACC Tournament, and one safe bet in this game is Mississippi State is not going to repeat that showing.

The Bulldogs also got whipped by Alabama, but I still like them with my college basketball pick, along with the ‘under.’ 

Score Prediction: Mississippi St. 66 – Pittsburgh 62 

NCAAB Pick: Under 132.5 (-108) at Heritage Sports  

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Under 132.5 (-108)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.