Tuesday night pits two ACC rivals against each other in a matchup of ranked opponents as Virginia goes on the road to face upstart N.C. State. N.C. State leads the all time series 74-61, but Virginia has won 6 straight in the series dating back to 2014.
Virginia dominated Notre Dame last time out on Saturday in a 82-55 win on the road. Last Saturday (1/19) they lost 72-70 at #1 Duke, and last Tuesday (1/22) they beat Wake Forest at home 68-45.
N.C. State is coming off a 69-67 win over Clemson on Saturday. Last Saturday (1/19) they beat Notre Dame on the road 77-73, and on Thursday (1/24) they lost 84-77 to #23 Louisville on the road.
On the season, Virginia is 16-3 ATS, 7-0 ATS on the road, and in their last 10 games are 10-0 ATS. On the season, N.C. State is 12-8 ATS, 7-6 ATS at home, and in their last 10 games are 4-6 ATS.
GtBets has the Cavaliers as 8 point favourites with an O/U total of 139.
(18-1 overall, 6-1 on the road, 6-1 in ACC)
Virginia is slow and steady on offense, averaging 74.1 PPG, 35.8 RPG, 14.4 APG, 3.2 BPG, 5.8 SPG and 8 TPG. As a team they are shooting 48.1% from the field, 76.8% from 3 point range, and 39.6% from the free throw line. Defensively, they hold teams to 52.6 PPG, 29.4 RPG, 37.3% shooting from the field, and 24.9% shooting from 3 point range.
They are led by guard Kyle Guy, who averages 15 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 2.0 APG and 0.7 SPG while shooting 47.6% from the field, 46% from 3, and 86.5% from the free throw line. De’Andre Hunter is another big part of their success, averaging 14.7 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 2.2 APG and 0.5 SPG while shooting 53.5% from the field, 41.5% from 3, and 78.5% from the free throw line. Ty Jerome helps out big time as well with 13.1 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 4.9 APG and 1.7 SPG. Braxton Key (7.2 PPG/5.7 RPG/1.2 SPG), Mamadi Diakite (6.8 PPG/3.7 RPG/1.1 BPG), Jay Huff (5.2 PPG/ 2.4 RPG/1.0 BPG), Kihei Clark (4.7 PPG/ 2.1 APG/0.8 SPG) and Jack Salt (4.6 PPG/4.8 RPG/56.7% FG) play big minutes as well.
North Carolina State Wolfpack
(16-4 overall, 12-1 at home, 4-3 in ACC)
N.C. State features a high powered offense, averaging 85.3 PPG, 39.5 RPG, 16.8 APG, 3.8 BPG, 7.6 SPG, and 14 TPG. As a team they are shooting 49.1% from the field, 38.4% from 3 point range, and 70.6% from the free throw line. Defensively they hold teams to 69.5 PPG, 31.9 RPG, 42.3% shooting from the field, and 29.1% shooting from 3 point range. N.C. State is deep and anyone can go off on a given night.
Torin Dorn leads the way with 14.3 PPG, 6.9 RPG, 1.5 APG and 1.2 SPG while shooting 48.9% from the field, 31.4% from 3, and 63.9% from the free throw line. C.J. Bryce helps out with 12.5 PPG, 5.3 RPG,1.8 APG and 1.5 SPG while shooting 51.7% from the field, 45.5% from 3, and 74.6% from the free throw line. Markell Johnson is featured as well with 11.8 PPG, 4.0 APG, 0.9 SPG and 46.4% 3 point shooting. Devon Daniels (1.3 PPG/ 4.9 RPG/0.7 BPG), Braxton Beverly (9.7 PPG/3.1 APG/0.8 SPG), D.J. Funderburk (8.8 PPG/4.2 RPG/0.7 SPG/1.0 BPG) and Jericole Hellems (6.4 PPG/3.0 RPG/0.7 SPG) chip in as well.
Stalwart defense meets high powered offense in this top 25 matchup, and while N.C. State has cooled down this month, they are still averaging a healthy 77.9 PPG in the month of January. They feature a well rounded team who shares the ball with a variety of creators and shooters. They are also very adept at creating turnovers and getting out in transition, which will be tough against a grinding and fundamental offense like Virginia, who averages a paltry 8 turnovers per game.
While Virginia has an identity in their methodical offense and stifling defense, they are more than capable of opening it up and creating offense at will as evidenced in the Duke game last week. These two teams probably meet in the middle somewhere, as Virginia is more comfortable playing N.C. State’s game than vice versa. N.C. State owns an average scoring margin of +22.9 this season, but are only +0.2 in their last 5 games and even in their 3 conference home games, while Virginia owns an average scoring margin of +18 points on the road in conference play and +16 points in their last 3 games.
8 points is a healthy margin for a top 25 matchup, but Virginia’s smothering defense and disciplined offense should pull this out no problem.
Final Pick: Virginia Cavaliers (-8)