North Carolina State Wolfpack (20-9) at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (11-18)
March is finally here, and the Madness has begun! Most casual fans aren’t checking in on March Madness until Selection Sunday, but boy are they missing out! Conference tournament season has officially kicked off, and if you ask me, these games are just as exciting and meaningful as the Big Dance.
Why you ask? Because the conference tournament season features teams that all know each other so well that these games are always going to be very close and exciting. For many matchups, this is the second or third time these teams have matched up this year. And if you can’t win your conference title, for many leagues, you don’t get to play in the NCAA tournament, so they could not have more meaning.
Today I will check in on one last ACC regular season game before the conference tournaments hit full swing. I will take a look at a streaking North Carolina State Wolfpack team as they play the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.
The Wolfpack of NC State will travel to Atlanta to face the Yellow Jackets of Georgia Tech Thursday night in an ACC matchup. The Wolfpack have caught fire recently, and if they win out in their last two games could rise to as high as a top three seed in the ACC tournament after a slow start to league play. NC State has won four straight games.
For Georgia Tech, this has been a season filled with disappointment as they are just 4-12 in ACC play and 11-18 overall. The Yellow Jackets have fallen on especially hard times recently, losers of seven straight and eleven out of their last twelve games. NC State is -2.5-point road favorites. The game total over-under is set at 144 points. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:00 PM PST from the Thrillerdome.
I really like what this NC State Wolfpack team is doing this year. They have some elite level wins on the season, proving they can beat any team in the country. These are the types of teams that make deep runs in March. They beat Arizona when they still had Alonso Trier, Deandre Ayton, and Sean Miller. They also beat Duke, Clemson, and North Carolina. This team has proven time and again that they can compete with the best teams in the country.
They have been especially good on the road in league play. The ACC is the nation’s top league, so winning any game on the road in conference is something to be celebrated. The Pack own road wins against Wake Forrest, Syracuse, North Carolina, and Pittsburg. They will try and pick up another road win in league play tonight when they play a struggling Georgia Tech team.
What else can be said about Georgia Tech this season? They aren’t a good basketball team, and that is putting it mildly. The actually had a decent start to ACC play as they went 3-1 to start the season. Since that good start? The Yellow Jackets are just 1-11 in ACC play. The bottom has completely fallen out of this season for Georgia Tech. They are struggling to just stay competitive against this elite league.
On this current seven-game losing streak, they have lost home games to Virginia Tech and Duke and road games to bad teams like Boston College and Wake Forrest. I guess they have been somewhat serviceable at home in league play with three wins, but they only have one home win since January 10th, so those wins seem like a different season right now.
To be completely honest I am shocked this number isn’t higher. NC State is playing the best basketball they have all season, and Georgia Tech is in complete free-fall. I wouldn’t have been surprised to see this number open at eight or nine points.
There is a lot of hype around NC State at the moment, and that is usually reflected in the line. I guess as the season gets deeper the betting public wises up some and realizes that home underdogs in league play are always good spots to bet.
But, that being said, I don’t think this number is nearly high enough to scare me off backing the Wolfpack. They are the MUCH better team, playing MUCH better right now. I am generally not a fan of laying wood on the road in league play, but only having to lay -2.5-points on a team that I think is a lock for the Sweet 16 feels like a great spot to me.
The last two home games for Georgia Tech they have lost by a combined 31 points. I just think with the way that this team is playing right now that they won’t be able to muster up a good enough effort to hold off a streaking NC State team.
It likely won’t be a blowout, but I can easily see the Wolfpack winning this game by double digits. Feels like 76-65 NC State with the win and the cover. Give me the North Caroline State Wolfpack -2.5-points on the road tonight!