Connecticut Huskies vs. NC St. Wolfpack
The UConn Huskies and the NC State Wolfpack face off on Tuesday in Madison Square Garden in the Jimmy V. Classic. The Wolfpack are -5.5 point favorites over the Huskies with an over/under set at 143.
The Connecticut Huskies won’t be going to the NCAA Tournament this season but that doesn’t mean they don’t have a team that isn’t tournament worthy. Kevin Ollie’s team has looked strong in the early going and having played the 15th ranked schedule thus far bug tough games are nothing new to this team. As a team UConn is averaging 70.4 points, 11.6 assists, and they are shooting 42.9 percent while defensively they are allowing 63.7 points, 9.0 assists, and their opponents are shooting 37.6 percent. Shabazz Napier is averaging 18.6 points, Ryan Boatright is averaging 13.7 points and 4.9 assists, and Omar Calhoun is averaging 10.9 points. While Jim Calhoun is gone, he left UConn in solid shape as far as talent on the court goes.
The expectations are sky high this season for the high scoring NC State Wolfpack but thus far Mark Gottfried’s team hasn’t stepped it up when called upon. North Carolina State has played two games against top 25 ranked teams, Michigan and Oklahoma State, and have lost both of them fairly convincingly. As a team NC State is averaging 78.8 points, 13.5 assists, and they are shooting 52.5 percent while defensively they are allowing 70.8 points, 11.3 assists, and their opponents are shooting 40.2 percent. T.J. Warren is averaging 15.3 points and 3.8 rebounds, Richard Howell is averaging 14.2 points and 7.8 rebounds, C.J. Leslie is averaging 11.7 points and 7.5 rebounds, and Lorenzo Brown is averaging 10.5 points and 6.0 assists. NC State lost by seven to Michigan last time out in a game that was never very close.
UConn is 18-6 against the spread in their last 24 neutral site games, 1-4 against the spread in their last five games overall, and 0-4 against the spread against a team with a winning record. NC State is 11-2-1 against the spread in their last 14 games overall, 9-2 against the spread in their last 11 non-conference games, and 19-7 against the spread in their last 26 neutral site games.
The total in this one looks to be on the high side and my pick here is on the under.