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NC State vs. Stanford Expert Pick and Prediction – March 29, 2024

NC State vs. Stanford Expert Pick and Prediction – March 29, 2024 

NC STATE VS. STANFORD EXPERT PICK AND PREDICTION – March 29, 2024 — It’s sheer lunacy that this will be a conference game next season. The last time Stanford and N.C. State met in women’s basketball was 30 years ago, long before any of the current players were born. And yet, these two will both be members of the ACC next season.

Before we get to that 2,811-mile road trip, one of these teams will have to get past the other to reach the Elite Eight. And if the Stanford guards don’t step up their play, it’s not going to be the Cardinal moving on. Stanford has been basketball royalty under all-time wins leader Tara VanDerveer, but the Cardinal took a stunning second-round loss in last season’s tournament and nearly did it again over the weekend to Iowa State.

Related: Women’s Basketball Betting Boom

The Cardinal are still here because Kiki Iriafen wouldn’t let them lose and because Iowa State couldn’t hit anything inside the perimeter. The Cyclones shot 37% from inside the perimeter, allowing Stanford to withstand getting virtually nothing from its guard play. Hannah Jump did score 15 points, but she needed to play every minute of the overtime game to do it.

State’s guard play has been suspect for a while, but the Wolfpack got back on track in beating Tennessee. After scoring just 22 points in three games at the ACC tournament, Rivers got 20 on the Volunteers and the Wolfpack finally looked like a team that knew where the basket was. State’s defense ranked second in the ACC behind Duke, but it’s the offense that really made the Wolfpack a Final Four threat. If the guard play is back on track, State’s got the edge.

The Odds 






NC State

(29-6 SU) 






(30-5 SU)






When: Friday, March 29 at 7:30 p.m. EST 

Where: MVP Arena, Albany, N.Y.


Public Bets: Unavailable 

Public Money: Unavailable

Odds courtesy of DraftKings, as of March 28th, 2024

NC State vs. Stanford In-Season Trends 

As long as the opponent isn’t Virginia Tech, State has been a tough out with its defense. The Wolfpack never figured out the Hokies, but they’ve held five of their past six opponents under 60 points. State can play quickly when it needs to do so — witness the Wolfpack scoring 92 on Connecticut in a win — but the Wolfpack much prefer when they can slow someone down and squeeze the life out of them.

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Stanford is also more than willing to grind teams down. The Cardinal held most of their Pac-12 opponents under 60 points, with USC and Arizona being the only teams they really couldn’t slow down. But the Cardinal’s slate was also full of softer opponents, as they only faced UCLA once and didn’t meet the Bruins in Los Angeles. The best win Stanford had all year was either UCLA at home or at Oregon State, and the Cardinal couldn’t stay on the floor with Gonzaga, taking an 18-point loss and giving up 96 points.

The Difference-Makers 

Stanford is used to relying on Kiki Iriafen for its scoring, but Cameron Brink is usually the No. 2 option for the Cardinal. She all but disappeared against Iowa State, scoring just eight points in the contest. Her rebounding ability served the Cardinal well, however, and she’s going to have to at least step up on the boards if she’s not scoring.

Related: Oregon State vs. Notre Dame Pick and Prediction

State is clearly a different team when Rivers is scoring. In five of the Wolfpack’s six defeats, Rivers got held to 12 points or less. The Wolfpack need to win this game on guard play, and that starts with getting Rivers in the offense early and often.

The Pick 

Stanford is really lucky to still be here. The Cardinal didn’t give a great account of themselves against Iowa State, and if not for Iriafen’s brilliance, they’d have been out in the second round again.

State is the team that appears to be finding itself right now. The Wolfpack played one of their best games of the season against Tennessee, and they have the edge if they can replicate that. I think they can.

Dan’s Picks 

 NC State +4.5  

 Under 134.5


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