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12/4/2012 9:52:00 AM
The Jimmy V Classic will feature a matchup tonight between the NC State Wolfpack and the Connecticut Huskies at “The World’s Most Famous Arena”.
..as both schools with try and beat the college basketball odds in front of a sold-out crowd.
Jimmy V Classic: NC State vs. UConn
The 25th ranked North Carolina State Wolfpack (4-2 SU) will collide with the Connecticut Huskies (6-1 SU) tonight, December 4, as part of the Jimmy V Classic taking place in New York City in a battle between the ACC and Big East conferences.
Tip off is scheduled 9:00 PM EST from Madison Square Garden and can be seen live on national TV, with broadcast coverage provided by ESPN.
Bookmaker.eu had posted a line on this game, listing the Wolfpack as -5 point favorites, while setting the over/under total at 144 points.
NC State started its season with three straight wins, but have since lost two of their next three matchups. While their offense continues to shine, they are looking at ways to improve on defense.
In their 79-72 defeat to Michigan, the Wolfpack shot 57.1% from the field (a season high). The number followed 55.8% shooting in a victory over UNC Asheville a few days earlier.
The problem is that they allowed both opponents to shoot equally as well, as both Michigan and UNC Asheville hit better than 50% of their shots too.
Head Coach Mark Gottfried said it best – “you've gotta be able to defend, where you can keep them between you and the basket, and we've got to be a lot better at that.”
Connecticut is still trying to find a way to be more consistent now that they are in the post Jim Calhoun era.
They have already beat one ranked opponent (Michigan State, 66-62) and tonight they will try to knock off another in NC State, but they have also allowed much weaker schools to take them to wire instead of taking care of business and putting them away early.
In fact, they needed double overtime to defeat Quinnipiac 89-83 and were in close games against New Hampshire (61-53) and Stony Brook (73-62), but ultimately prevailed when the final buzzer sounded.
Yes, a win is a win, but the concern is there when the above schools mentioned are pushing you to the limit.
Get live NCAA Basketball odds right here!
The Huskies are a stellar 18-6 in their last 24 games played on neutral territory and 6-2 ATS in their last 8 played on a Tuesday.
However, they are only 1-6 ATS in their last seven non-conference matchups.
The Huskies have gone over the total in ten of their last 13 games overall.
NC State is a superb 11-2-1 against the spread in their last 14 games overall and 9-2 ATS in their last 11 non-conference games.
They have gone over the posted total in five consecutive games following a straight up loss.
Head To Head
These two schools have not faced one another since the 2005 NCAA Tournament, when the Wolfpack ousted UConn by a score of 65-62.
This tournament is dedicated to Jimmy Valvano, the man most associated with NC State. What better way for the Wolfpack to honor Jimmy V then to come away with a victory in the tournament that carries his name. That said, your NCAA Basketball Pick should be as such: NC State also features more talent than UConn and should easily win this contest, while also covering the point spread.
NCAA Basketball Picks: NC State -5 at Bookmaker