NCAA Tournament: North Dakota State vs. North Carolina Central fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Wednesday, March 20
Game Time: 6:40 ET
Venue: University of Dayton Arena, Dayton, OH
All You Really Need To Know About North Carolina Central (18-15)
(MEAC), NCAA NET Rank: 302. East 16-seed
The Eagles were just okay in the regular season, but they managed to go on a terrific three-game run – and won six of their last seven games – to take the conference title and get into the tournament. There’s not a whole lot of scoring punch, but it’s a deep team that will be happy to get on the move.
There’s little to no size to count on, but everyone attacks the glass – they find ways to clean up messes and overcome a whole slew of other issues. They turn the ball over way too much – WAY too much – and they can’t hit from the outside at all, but they’re plucky.
All You Really Need To Know About North Dakota State (18-15)
(Summit), NCAA NET Rank: 222. East 16-seed
The Bison finished third in the Summit league, but ripped through the conference tournament to get in. This is the shot at the big stage, with the only big matchup this year coming in a blowout loss to Gonzaga, and they should be a whole lot of fun. They shoot threes, and more threes, and more threes. Defense, schmefense, but they’re never out of a game with the way they can bomb away.
There’s a little bit of size, but they get ripped apart on the boards, and they don’t force enough turnovers to generate easy baskets. They’ll hit just about everything on the line – the make an amazing 77% of their free throws – and they won’t give the ball away, but it’ll be all about the three. If those are going down, they have a shot. If they’re not … uh-oh.
What’s Going To Happen
The Eagles are good enough defending the three to keep the Bison from going off, but they give the ball away way too often. NC Central’s inability to do anything form the outside will be an issue as the game goes on, but it’ll be the turnover issue that turns into its demise. That, and NDSU will hit more free throws down the stretch.
Fearless Prediction & Line
North Dakota State 78, North Carolina Central 70
Line: North Dakota State -5, o/u: 133
ATS Confidence: 4
5: Watching games by Vegas pool working on fruity drink No. 3
1: Watching game online while doing TPS reports in your cubicle