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NC State vs. Virginia Expert Pick and Prediction – March 15, 2024

NC State vs. Virginia Expert Pick and Prediction – March 15, 2024 

NC STATE VS. VIRGINIA EXPERT PICK AND PREDICTION – March 15, 2024 — When you’re trying to win a tournament, an upset on your side of the bracket is a welcome sight. When you’re trying to use your conference tournament to qualify for the NCAA tournament, an upset on your side of the bracket is the last thing you want to see.

Virginia got the latter, as NC State knocked off Duke to land in the semifinals. The Cavaliers came to Washington with a simple formula: win their opening game against preferably Clemson, then lock down a bid with either a win or a competitive loss against the Blue Devils. However, Tony Bennett’s group had its plan completely blown up, first by Boston College and then by State.

Instead of collecting a second Quad 1 win over Clemson, Virginia had to survive in overtime against BC and only got a Quad 2 win for its troubles. Instead of getting a pure Quad 1 opportunity against Duke, Virginia now faces another Quad 2 game against an opponent that knows it has to win the ACC to make the NCAAs.

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And despite its 20-14 mark, State is capable of making that run. The Wolfpack have come through this side of the bracket several times in their proud history, and they’ve got no reason to fear Virginia. State already whacked Virginia by 16 in Raleigh and took the Cavaliers to overtime in Charlottesville, so it knows it can handle Virginia’s game. Plus, the Cavaliers don’t play the way you need to play to choke off an upset threat in a tournament setting.

Virginia wins because it asphyxiates its opponents by slowing them down and forcing them into frustration. That doesn’t work against teams who can handle playing with patience and making shots — and it doesn’t work against teams who create their own opportunities with steals and don’t give the ball away easily. State counts both of those as strengths, making this matchup anything but comfortable for the Cavaliers.  

The Odds 






NC State

(20-14 SU, 15-18-1 ATS) 






(23-9 SU, 17-14-1 ATS) 






When: Friday, March 15 at 9:30 p.m. EST 

Where: Capital One Arena, Washington 


Public Bets: 94% on N.C. State 

Public Money: 79% on N.C. State

Odds courtesy of DraftKings, as of March 15th, 2024

NC State vs. Virginia In-Season Trends 

State’s now playing its fourth game in four days, which puts the Wolfpack in rare territory. Nobody has ever managed to play five games in the ACC tournament, let alone win the title with such a low seed. Making this even more surprising was the fact that State entered with no momentum, having lost five of its final six games. The Wolfpack are also accustomed to tight games; 12 of their 20 league contests wer3e decided by seven points or less.

When Virginia’s been at its best, it has done the job with defense. When things go wrong for the Cavaliers, they go wrong in a big way. In Virginia’s past three defeats, they haven’t scored more than 48 points. They didn’t close the year with much momentum either, going just 3-4 SU and 2-5 ATS.

The Difference-Makers 

Jayden Taylor has to find his shot for State to win this game. Against Pittsburgh, Louisville and Syracuse, Taylor averaged 21.3 points a game, mainly with solid 3-point shooting. Against Duke, he didn’t look for his shot and scored just eight points in two games with the Blue Devils. That worked out for State on Thursday, but led to a 15-point loss on March 4.

Taylor also couldn’t find his shot in Charlottesville, and that led to Virginia winning in overtime. The Wolfpack have to find him and get him going early.

Jordan Minor tends to get more minutes in games where Virginia needs his rebounding. Based on the two meetings this year, this one qualifies. The Cavaliers grabbed 15 offensive boards in Charlottesville, which proved key in their escape. Minor comes up big on the boards when needed, and the Cavaliers will need to extend possessions here. 

The Pick 

Against the wrong opponent, State might be in trouble here. But the Wolfpack are comfortable with this matchup and don’t have to worry about running with this opponent. Virginia isn’t going to change who it is just because it has a rest advantage.

Expect this to come down to the final possession again in another low-scoring game. That makes taking the free basket with the Wolfpack appealing. 

Dan’s Picks 

 NC State +2.5 

 Under 121.5 


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  1. Pingback:Texas A&M vs. Kentucky Expert Pick and Prediction – March 15, 2024

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