Sunday March 18 12:15 p.m. EST on CBS
NCAA Basketball Spread: Georgetown -4
North Carolina State may have been the 11th seed in the Midwest, but they were actually favored to take out San Diego State on Friday. The Wolfpack used their interior advantage to win that one handily. Georgetown was favored by only 3.5 against #14 seed Belmont, and many people were calling for an upset in that one. Instead, the Hoyas took care of business and rolled to a 74-59 win. Both of these teams seem to be playing their best basketball at the right time of the season.
North Carolina State has clearly matured as a team throughout the season. Mark Gottfried has this team playing much better team basketball than they were earlier this year. C.J. Leslie was one of the top recruits in the country a couple years ago, and he is showing why lately. Leslie leads the team in scoring at 14.6 points per game. He also grabs 7.1 boards per game and shoots 53% from the floor. Richard Howell scored 22 points against San Diego State, and if he keeps up that kind of play this team will be tough to beat.
Lorenzo Brown and C.J. Williams are two talented guards who can get to the basket. They both play very good defense as well. Scott Wood is a sharp shooter from the outside. Wood shoots 41% from beyond the arc. He also shoots 91% from the charity stripe. NC State averages 73.5 points per game. Defensively, they allow opponents to score 67.9 points per contest.
It seemed as if all the upset talk surrounding their game really motivated the Georgetown Hoyas. This team clearly was ready to play against Belmont on Friday afternoon. Jason Clark is the team’s best player and leading scorer. He scored 21 points in the team’s win Friday. Henry Sims is one of the most improved players in the nation. Sims barely played last year, but he averages 11.6 points and 6.1 boards per game this season. Sims is a 6’10 center, but he leads the team in assists. Hollis Thompson shoots 43% from beyond the arc, and he has hit some big shots this year.
Georgetown is a team that wins with defense first. The Hoyas lead the nation in three-point field goal percentage defense. Opponents shoot a miserable 27.1% from long distance against Georgetown. Their terrific perimeter defense is what stymied Belmont on Friday. Overall, this defense is giving up just 59.2 points per game on the season.
NC State is playing much better basketball right now, and I do think they can stay with Georgetown here. I think this game goes down to the wire, so I like the points.
Free College Basketball Pick: NC State +4
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