The top-seeded Villanova Wildcats won in a rout in their round-of-64 game against the 16th-seeded Lafayette to advance to the round-of-32 in the East Region where they’ll take on the 8th-seeded NC State Wolfpack.
NC State pulled off an unlikely comeback win over the LSU Tigers but with no time to sit on their laurels they will face a Villanova squad is not the type of team to allow any team to comeback.
NC State Wolfpack vs Villanova Wildcats March Madness Line, Free Pick & How To Watch
Matchup: (8) NC State Wolfpack vs (1) Villanova Wildcats
Date: Mar. 21, 2015
Start Time: 6:10 p.m. ET
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Stadium: CONSOL Energy Center
TV Info: TBS
Stream: March Madness Live
Radio: NC State Vs Villanova
Point Spread: Wildcats -9.5
Game Total: 139
NC State Will Cover the 9.5-point Spread If
The Wolfpack D plays the whole game.
NC State rallied down 26 to 40 at half time to beat LSU 66 to 65 and march into the Round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament. A victory on Saturday versus top-seeded Villanova will garner the Wolfpack a ticket to the Sweet 16.
The comeback was somewhat improbable. As a 2 point favorite, NC State didn’t even cover the spread. The reason that they needed the furious rally is because the defense allowed LSU to rack up 40 points in the first half while the Tigers held NC State to 26 first half points. The Wolfpack D has to play much tougher in both halves against Villanova if it hopes to have any shot of making it to the Sweet 16. Allowing a team like LSU to dominate an entire half and coming back is one thing. But hoping to come back from 14 down against Villanova probably won’t be possible. Unless the Wolfpack plays tough defense in both halves, they won’t cover the spread.
NC State Wolfpack NCAA Tournament Starting lineup
- G Trevor Lacey, 6-3, Jr., 15.8 ppg, 4.4 rpg
- G Ralston Turner, 6-5, Sr., 13.2 ppg, 3.3 rpg
- G Anthony Barber, 6-2, So., 12.1 ppg, 3.8 apg
- F Kyle Washington, 6-9, So., 6.7 ppg, 4.3 rpg
- F Lennard Freeman, 6-8, So., 3.4 ppg, 5.6 rpg
- Coach: Mark Gottfried (fourth season)
Villanova Will Cover the 9.5-point Spread If
Villanova’s offense doesn’t let the Wolfpack control the tempo of the game.
Granted, Lafayette was the sixteenth seed in the East Region playing against top-seeded Villanova, but the beat down that the Wildcats put on Lafayette was stunning to say the least. Villanova scored an incredible 49 points in the first half and an awesome 44 points in the second half. They dominated the Leopards.
— Villanova MBB (@NovaMBB) March 20, 2015
The key for Villanova versus NC State is to be as efficient on offense versus the Wolfpack as they were versus Lafayette. That won’t be easy since NC State’s defense is much better than Lafayette’s. Since it is unlikely that Villanova shoots 63% from the field again versus NC State, efficiency is most likely going to be in the turnovers category. Villanova committed only 8 turnovers against NC State. That might be 8 too many since NC State is very good at creating points off of turnovers. In order to cover the spread as a favorite, Villanova is going to have to keep their turnovers to a minimum and be more eclectic in regards to the shots that they take.
Villanova Wildcats NCAA Tournament Starting Lineup
- G Darrun Hilliard, 6-6, Sr., 14.2 ppg, 3.2 rpg
- G Ryan Arcidiacono, 6-3, Jr., 10.7 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 3.6 apg
- G Dylan Ennis, 6-2, Jr., 9.8 ppg, 3.7 rpg
- F JayVaughn Pinkston, 6-7, Sr., 9.9 ppg, 5.6 rpg
- F Daniel Ochefu, 6-11, Jr., 9.3 ppg, 8.3 rpg
- Coach: Jay Wright (fifth season)