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NC State vs. Seton Hall - NCAA First Round - 3/15/18 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

North Carolina State Wolfpack (21-11) at Seton Hall Pirates (21-11)

College Basketball: Thursday, March 15, 2018 at 4:30 pm (Intrust Bank Arena)

The Line: Seton Hall Pirates -2.5 -- Over/Under: 156 See the Latest Odds

TV: TBS

We have some first round Midwest Region action on tap Thursday afternoon, as the #9 seed NC State Wolfpack take on the #8 seed Seton Hall Pirates in a college basketball matchup. 

The NC State Wolfpack received an at-large bid and the #9 seed in the region after finishing 21-11 overall this season, including an 11-7 mark in aCC conference play that was good enough for the #5 seed in the conference tournament. The problem for the Wolfpack is that their stay in the tournament didn’t last long, as the Wolfpack were upset by #12 seed Boston College in the second round by a final score of 91-87. The Wolfpack notched a couple of solid wins in the non-conference portion part of their schedule, with wins over Penn State and fellow NCAA tournament team Arizona, while their lone blemishes came at the hands of some pretty decent opposition as well, losing to Northern Iowa and other NCAA tournament teams like UNC-Greensboro and Tennessee. Allerik Freeman leads the Wolfpack in scoring with 15.4 points per game while Omer Yurtseven leads NC State on the glass with 6.9 rebounds per game and Markell Johnson is the Wolfpack’s leading assist man with 7.4 assists per game this season. As a team, NC State is scoring 81.2 points per game on 47% shooting from the field, 37.2% from behind the arc and 70.1% from the foul line this season.

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NC State vs. Seton Hall - NCAA First Round - 3/15/18 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Seton Hall Pirates also received an at-large bid of their own as a #8 seed after finishing the regular season at 21-11, including a 10-8 mark in conference play, winning a tiebreaker to finish with the #3 seed. Like NC State however, the Pirates had a brief stay in the conference tourney as well, getting a first round bye and losing their quarterfinal matchup to #6 seed Butler. The Pirates had a lot of success in the non-conference portion of their schedule, notching wins over VCU, Louisville, Vanderbilt and Indiana while hanging with some fellow NCAA tournament teams, defeating Texas Tech and narrowly losing to Rhode Island by a single point. Desi Rodriguez led Seton Hall in scoring with 17.8 points per game while Khadeen Carrington led the Pirates in assists with 4.5 assists per game and Angel Delgado led Seton Hall in rebounding by averaging a double-double per game with 13.3 points in addition to his team-high 11.6 rebounds per game this season. As a team, Seton Hall is scoring 79 points per game on 46.9% shooting from the field, 36.4% from behind the arc and 69.3% from the foul line this season. 

NC State is 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games overall and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games while the under is 10-4 in their last 14 NCAA tournament games. Seton Hall is 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games overall and 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games against a team with a winning record while the over is 6-1-1 in their last 8 NCAA tournament games. 

Both of these teams suffered early exits in their respective conference tournaments, so there’s no really rest advantage and if we are being honest, I’d be more concerned with rust over anything else. With that said, Seton Hall had a tough Big East conference to deal with, and if they weren’t in the Big East, the Pirates could have a much higher seed than this coin flip matchup. NC State had a solid run to make the tournament, but the Wolfpack just gave up 91 points to an average at-best Boston College offense. I think Seton Hall’s size and tournament experience will be NC State’s undoing, so I’ll lay the bucket with Seton Hall here.

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