The North Carolina State Wolfpack are outsiders in this year’s “March Madness” chase.
NCAA basketball odds makers have them listed at a price
of 75/1. Mark Gottfried’s squad has its share of traditional rivalries lined
up, while facing some of the Atlantic Coast Conference’s new additions.
Are you prepared for the upcoming NCAA basketball season?
Wolfpack bounced early
North Carolina State made a promising run in last
year’s ACC Tournament, eliminated in the semifinals by the Miami Hurricanes in
an 81-71 setback. The Wolfpack went on as a No. 8 seed in the NCAA’s “Big
Dance,” but dropped their opener to the Temple Owls, 76-72.
Wolfpack alums C.J. Leslie and Lorenzo Brown
have moved onto the NBA, following top numbers in scoring (15.1 PPG) and
assists (7.2 APG), respectively. NC State’s Richard Howell has also departed
due to graduation, following a sizable 10.9 RPG.
Wolfpack forward T.J. Warren returns after finishing
his freshman year as his squad’s top shooter, knocking down buckets at a 62.2
percent clip. Warren is reunited with mate Tyler Lewis, who should see some
more minutes after sinking 85.9 percent of his free throws last season.
Barber joins backcourt
North Carolina State’s top three new recruits
add some new depth, with guard Anthony Barber leading the way. The Virginia
native is joined by center BeeJay Anya and forward Kyle Washington, who are all
considered four-star prospects by Rivals.
Barber signed with the Wolfpack after
considering offers from the Kansas Jayhawks and Alabama Crimson Tide. Hampton
High School will miss Barber’s presence after notching 21 PPG en route to
becoming a McDonald’s All-American.
Anya comes in after logging big digits in boards
(10.6 RPG) at DeMatha Catholic High School, while hitting a stellar 71 percent
from the floor. Washington turned down five other offers in hopes of some big
playing time, following 12 PPG and 10 RPG in his senior year with New
Hampshire’s Brewster Academy.
Wolfpack to face tough road
North Carolina State opens with seven of its
first eight contests played in the home confines of Raleigh’s PNC Arena. The
span includes a visit from the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles, as well as an ACC/Big
Ten Challenge date with the Northwestern Wildcats.
January’s conference play begins with hosting
the Pittsburgh Panthers, followed by traveling to meet the Notre Dame Fighting
Irish. The month ends with a stretch of three home dates, facing the Maryland
Terrapins, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and Florida State Seminoles.
NC State has both of its rivalry matchups
against the North Carolina Tar Heels in February, following a split of last
year’s pair of battles both SU and ATS. Warren and Co. will wrap up their regular
season with a home affair against the Boston College Eagles, while looking
ahead to this year’s ACC Tournament in Greensboro.
The Wolfpack began last year with a 6-3 spread
record in its first nine ‘board’ matchups, but cooled off at NCAA basketball betting
windows once reaching the heart of conference play. North Carolina State could
get off to an even slower start this year with facing a year of rebuilding,
while the Atlantic Coast Conference’s new arrivals beefing up the competition.
The NCAAB future odds on the Wolfpack to win it
all may go even higher from where they are, making them a pass to back this
early. When choosing your sports picks, look for NC State to be a sizable dog for most of its marquee matchups,
needing the back door for some cashed tickets.
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