NC State vs Syracuse Pick: Syracuse will take on North Carolina State Wednesday in Greensboro, North Carolina for the second round of the ACC tournament. This will be the first game of the day starting off the second round at 12 pm.
Syracuse (15-8 overall, 9-7 ACC) is relying on this game to keep their NCAA tournament dreams alive. The Orange finished off their season well with two great home wins over North Carolina and Clemson.
Syracuse beat the Wolfpack both times they met this year. Syracuse won 76-73 on Jan. 31 at the Carrier Dome and 77-68 on Feb.9 at the PNC Arena. There is an old saying that it’s hard to defeat a team three times in a season.
Syracuse joined the Big East in 1980 and has faced a team three times on 19 occasions. Their record is 14-5 which means they completed the sweep almost 75 percent of the time.
The Orange ranks No. 178 in effective field goal percentage and No. 213 in 3-point percentage. When playing the Wolfpack they were able to make 46 percent of their shots. NC State is going to pressure the ball but if the Orange can handle the pressure they can put up good shots.
A key factor for Syracuse is how they shoot from beyond the arc. The Orange have gone 17 for 40 from the 3 point line in their two meetings against NC state.
Guard Buddy Boeheim had some struggles this season especially when he contracted Covid-19 but he has been on a tear late in the season. He is leading the Orange averaging 16 points per game and is shooting 40.0% from the field.
In the Orange’s last 5 games Boeheim has averaged 21 points with a field goal percentage of 46.2% and going 42.5% from beyond the arc. Against the Wolfpack, this season Boeheim has averaged 16.5 points and gone 7-13 from the 3 point line.
A look at the Wolfpack:
North Carolina State (13-9 Overall, 9-8 ACC) in many people’s minds is the hottest team entering the tournament. The Wolfpack have won five straight games.
The Wolfpack will be relying on forward Jericole Hellems to put up high-percentage shots against Syracuse’s zone defense. Hellems is averaging and leading the team with 13.1 points per game.
NC State will also be looking to use Hellems strength, height, and passing ability to create a problem in the middle of Syracuse’s defense.
In the first matchup of the season, Hellems dropped 24 points, 9 rebounds, and four assists. In the second game, he had 11 points, 4 rebounds, and three assists.
What do these teams have in common?
Syracuse plays a zone defense while NC State plays man to man but both teams create many turnovers. The Orange ranks second in the ACC with 8.96 steals per game and the Wolfpack is in a close third with 8.5 steals per game.
A turnover margin is the difference between the number of turnovers a team commits compared to the turnovers it forces. Much like the last statistic Syrcasue ranks second in turnover margins with plus 3.43 and the Wolfpack ranks third with a plus 2.59 margin.
Both teams will need to limit the amount of turnover they give up to each other.
Odds and Prediction:
The spread is +2(-110) for NC State and -2(-110) for Syracuse. The Wolfpack are 4-1 in their last 5 games against the spread and Syracuse is 2-7 against the spread away from home. I would take NC state at +1.5 (-106).
The Over/Under is at 146.5 (-1.5) and both teams have only blown one O/U this season away from home. My predictions is for the total to be over 146.5 (-106)