NCAA Tournament First Four: (16) Appalachian State (17-11) vs (16) Norfolk State (16-7) prediction and college basketball game preview.
Appalachian State vs Norfolk State Broadcast
Date: Thursday, March 18
Game Time: 8:40 pm, truTV
Venue: Assembly Hall, Bloomington, IN
Appalachian State vs Norfolk State Game Preview
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Why Appalachian State Will Win
Awful throughout the second half of the season – the Mountaineers finished seventh in the Sun Belt – they were on a run of five straight losses and six in seven, and then a crazy thing happened …
They started winning.
It wasn’t easy, but it rumbled through their final four games including a stunning win over Texas State – the best team in the Sun Belt – on the was to a conference tournament title to get into the fun.
It’s a three-and-free team, bombing away from the outside – it doesn’t make a high percentage of them, but it takes them – and it brilliant on the free throw line. Combine that with an aggressive defense that comes up with a. whole lot of steals, and it has an interesting style that can get hot enough to be a problem if the threes start falling.
Why Norfolk State Will Win
If Appalachian State isn’t hitting from the outside, there’s a problem.
This isn’t a great shooting team overall – it somehow won in the Sun Belt Tournament over Coastal Carolina when shooting under 30% – and Norfolk State is solid at defending the three.
The Spartans won their final six games – three of them over Morgan State, including the MEAC Championship – with an offense that’s great at getting to the rim and happy to crank up the tempo.
It’s okay from the outside, but it’s at its best when forcing the action, getting fouled, and then owning the game on the line.
What’s Going To Happen
Norfolk State has enough parts to its game and style to overcome adversity if something isn’t working. Appalachian State doesn’t.
It’s really this simple – either the Mountaineers hit a ton of threes, or they don’t. They’re 7-0 in their last 15 games when they make ten or more three pointers, and 1-7 when they don’t.
And that’s where Coppin State comes in.
The Eagles led the MEAC in three point attempts and makes, and they went 3-1 against Norfolk State hitting double-digit threes in each of the four.
It won’t be pretty, but Appalachian State will get to ten made threes.
Appalachian State vs Norfolk State Prediction, Line
Appalachian State 74, Norfolk State 70
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Line: Appalachian State -3, o/u: 133.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 2
Must See Rating: 3
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