No. 1 Villanova had a laugher in their opener & now things get a little more serious as they face the No. 8 seeded N.C. State. The Wildcats find themselves as a 9.5-point favorite on the NCAAB odds.
The Villanova Wildcats Can Win Because…
The Wolfpack are basically a joke. They had an easy SEC team in front of them in the opening round and they basically needed a miracle just to survive. N.C. State trailed LSU by 16 points early in the second half but watched the Tigers collapse right in front of them. LSU missed its last 12 field goals including six free throws in the final minutes to cost them the loss. LSU scored a total of three points in the final nine minutes of the game.
Simply put, Villanova won’t be making that type of mistake. Villanova’s offense is stellar and it’s going to do whatever it wants against N.C. State. We saw what they’re capable of when they stomped Lafayette in the opening round, pouring in 93 points. Obviously, N.C. State is a step up in competition but not anyone that should really slow down Villanova. This is a team that’s won 16 straight games and is a steaming locomotive right now. They shot close to 70% in the opener and made 11-of-22 three-pointers. N.C. State was just five-of-24 in that category.
This is a mismatch and the line on NCAA Tournament odds board is too low. Take the Wildcats with your college basketball picks.
The N.C. State Wolfpack Can Win Because…
They’ll be coming in with a ton of confidence. Yes, the Wolfpack barely survived the opening round but we see this time and time again: a win is a win and confidence can snowball. They could have easily packed it in trailing LSU by double-digits but they stuck with it. They ramped up their defense in the second half and that is what is going to be the key to this contest. They held LSU to just 29% shooting in the second half and if they can play with the same rigor at the back end, they could keep this thing much closer than anyone expects.
N.C. State might match up very well against the Wildcats as they have more size inside and they also have a decent array of shooters. Anthony Barber had 17 points against LSU and has been a key catalyst for the team’s recent success. The team is hot right now as they’ve won seven of nine and he’s hit double-digits in each of this victories. If he’s in that range, the Wolfpack should have a shot.
Depending on how you look at it, N.C. State’s opening game was either an epic comeback by the Wolfpack or a historic collapse by LSU. In my eyes, it was more of the latter. LSU completely packed it in and allowed the Wolfpack to survive. Villanova will do no such thing. Look for them to get ahead early and make sure they stick with it so that N.C. State doesn’t get a whiff. This will be a double-digit victory and cover for the Wildcats so add them to your Saturday's NCAA Tournament picks
NCAA Tournament Pick: Villanova -9.5 at The Greek