The Baylor Bears are the defending national champions and they put their belt on the line this Thursday against the upset-seeking Norfolk State Spartans, who are returning to the Big Dance for the first time in 10 years. Check out our preview below of this Baylor-Norfolk State 2022 March Madness first-round matchup.
Betting Preview for the Baylor Bears vs Norfolk State Spartans NCAA College Basketball Game on March 18 2022
Where: Dickies Arena, Fort Worth, TX
When: Friday, March 18, 2022, 8:00 PM ET
TV Broadcast: CBS
Betting on the Baylor Bears (odds)
Record: 26-6 Overall/14-4 Conference
Baylor lost its top three players in 2021 over the offseason, but Scott Drew has managed to steer the Bears to the Big Dance as a No. 1 seed – again. It just shows how good of a coach Drew is and how talented the remaining players are in Waco. LC Cryer, Adam Flagler, Matthew Mayer, and James Akinjo have championship experience as they were all part of last year’s national title-winning Bears. Having upperclassmen who know what it takes to go deep in the national tournament is a huge plus for the Bears. Cryer might not be ready to play this Thursday because of an injury, but up against a No. 16 seed, the Bears shouldn’t sweat his absence. Norfolk State has a respectable defense, but the Bears have enough to break that down.
Baylor, which is ninth in the nation with 117.9 points per 100 possessions, has seen the total hit the Over in three of its last three games.
Betting on the Norfolk State Spartans (odds)
Record: 24-6 Overall/12-2 Conference
A decade ago, Norfolk State stunned the nation by beating the 2-seed Missouri Tigers in the first round as a 15-seed. The Spartans did that because they believed. Well, they have to believe again, this time as a 16-seed. The Spartans are having a tremendous season by their standards. They earned a ticket to the National Tournament by winning the MEAC Tournament title, dominating the Coppin State Eagles in the championship game, 72-57. With that win, Norfolk State has extended its win streak to six games. In other words, the Spartans will be riding a huge wave of momentum going into Thursday’s matchup against Baylor. They are also relying on their defense and the scoring of Joe Bryant, who leads the team with 16.8 points per game. As for their defense, the Bears have held their last six opponents to just 34.8 percent shooting from the field.
Norfolk State is 4-1 against the spread in its last five games overall.
Baylor wins, 77-60.
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