Villanova vs. North Carolina State - NCAA Tournament - 3/21/15 Pick, Odds, and Prediction
North Carolina State Wolfpack (21-13) at Villanova Wildcats (33-2)
College Basketball: Saturday, March 21, 2015 at 7:10 pm (Consol Energy Center)
The Line: Villanova Wildcats -9 -- Over/Under: 147 See the Latest Odds
TV: TBS HD
The (8) North Carolina Wolfpack and (1) Villanova Wildcats will battle at the CONSOL Energy Center this Saturday night in third round action of the NCAA Tournament.
The North Carolina Wolfpack (21-13, 10-8 ACC) came back from a 14 point deficit with under 10 minutes to play to defeat the LSU Tigers 66-65 this past Thursday. The Wolfpack shot 42.4% the floor and was able to overcome a dismal shooting night from beyond the arc in which they shot just 20.8% (5-24). Leading the way for the Wolfpack was Anthony Barber who had 17 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 assists in the victory. NC State was ranked 40th in the RPI Standings and played the 6th ranked SOS. On the season, NC State has been led by Trevor Lacey (15.6 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 3.5 apg) and Ralston Turner (13.1 ppg, 3.3 rpg). NC State averages 70.4 ppg (ranked 90th) on 43.7% shooting (ranked 161st). The Wolfpack averages 6.6 three-pointers per game (ranked 139th) on 36.1% three-point shooting (ranked 91st). Defensively, NC State is allowing 65.4 ppg (ranked 141st) on 40.3% shooting (ranked 65th). The Wolfpack pull down 37.85 total rpg (ranked 32nd) and average 5.3 bpg (ranked 16th).
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The Villanova Wildcats (33-2, 16-2 Big East) had no problem defeating the Patriot League champions, the Lafayette Leopards, as they dominated the entire game en route to a 93-52 victory this past Thursday. The Wildcats shot 63.2% from the field and 50.0% (11-22) from beyond the arc in the victory. Leading the way for Villanova was Daniel Ochefu who had 14 points, 9 rebounds, and 3 blocks. Villanova was ranked 4th in the RPI Standings and played the 52nd ranked SOS. On the season, the Wildcats have been led by Darrun Hilliard II (13.9 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 2.2 apg, 1.8 spg) and Dylan Ennis (10.0 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 3.5 apg). Villanova averages 76.3 ppg (ranked 21st) on 47.0% shooting (ranked 37th). The Wildcats average 9.0 three-pointers per game (ranked 14th) and have a 1.47 assist/turnover ratio (ranked 9th). Defensively, Villanova is holding their opponents to an average of 60.9 ppg (ranked 44th) on 40.5% shooting (ranked 71st). The Wildcats average 7.8 spg (ranked 29th) and have a turnover margin of 3.4 (ranked 14th).
The Wolfpack are 5-1-1 ATS in their last 7 Saturday games and 18-7-1 ATS in their last 26 games following a ATS loss. The Wildcats are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a SU win of more than 20 points and 22-8 ATS in their last 30 non-conference games.
NC State has been one of the hardest teams to get a read on this year as they have the capability to beat anyone in the country as shown with their wins against Duke, UNC, and Louisville, however, can also seem to no show up and lose to anyone as we saw against Wake Forest, Boston College, and at home against Clemson. Villanova has been great all year long and although they don’t have a major superstar on their roster, they play great team basketball and seem to excel an all aspects of the game. I think NC State is going to be a popular pick in this one with their success against top-ranked teams this year, however, I think this Villanova team is as good as Jay Wright has ever had and that they’ll be able to get by the Wolfpack and cover this spread. Take Villanova to cover.