East Region Sweet 16 Betting Picks: #8 North Carolina State Wolfpack vs #4 Louisville Cardinals

2015 NCAA Tournament
East Regional Seminfinal
#4 Louisville Cardinals vs #8 North Carolina State Wolfpack

Carrier Dome – Syracuse, New York
Friday, March 27, 2015, 7:37 pm Eastern, TV: TBS
Opening Line: Louisville -2
Current Line: Louisville -2 1/2
Opening Total: 129
Current Total: 129 1/2
Opening Money Line: Louisville -135 / NC State +115
Current Money Line: Louisville -145 / NC State +125

Louisville is a 2.5 point favorite against NC State in the East Regional semifinal Friday in Syracuse.
Louisville is a 2.5 point favorite against NC State in the East Regional semifinal Friday in Syracuse.

Upsets in the second round to #1 seed Villanova and #2 seed Virginia have blown the East Region wide open. The #8 seed North Carolina State Wolfpack, who upset Villanova 71-68 Saturday will face the #4 seed Louisville Cardinals in the first regional semifinal Friday in Syracuse. The winner will face either #3 Oklahoma or #7 Michigan State in the regional final Sunday.

North Carolina State leads the series 9-8 against Louisville. The Wolfpack have won 3 straight games against the Cardinals and 4 of the last 5. The two schools became conference rivals this season when Louisville joined the ACC. NC State won the only meeting this season 74-65 in Louisville.

North Carolina State went 21-13 overall and finished tied for sixth in the ACC at 10-8. The Wolfpack lost to Duke in the ACC semifinals. In the second round of the NCAA Tournament NC State beat LSU  66-65 in Pittsburgh.  NC State is making their 26th trip overall to the tournament and fourth straight. The Wolfpack are making their 11th appearance in the Sweet 16 and first since 2012. The Wolfpack have two national titles in 1973 and 1983. NC State went 6-9 against NCAA Tournament teams this season.

Louisville finished fourth in the ACC at 12-6. Louisville lost to North Carolina 70-60 in the ACC quarterfinals. The #4 seed Cardinals escaped with a 57-55 win over #13 seed UC-Irvine in the second round and beat #5 Northern Iowa 66-53 in the third round Sunday in Seattle. Louisville is playing in their 41st NCAA Tournament with 3 national titles. This is the 24th trip to the Sweet 16 for the Cardinals including 4 straight.  The Cardinals went 6-7 against NCAA Tournament teams this season.

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NC State is coached by Mark Gottfried. The Wolfpack have road losses at Purdue, Virginia, Miami, Wake Forest, and Boston College, neutral site losses to West Virginia at Madison Square Garden and Duke in the ACC Tournament in Greensboro, plus home losses against Wofford, Cincinnati, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Clemson, and Virginia. The Wolfpack have won 5 of their last 6 games. NC State has home wins over Hofstra, South Florida, Richmond, Boise State, Wake Forest, Tennessee, Louisiana Tech, Pittsburgh, Duke, Virginia Tech, and Syracuse, a neutral site win over Pittsburgh in the ACC Tournament, plus road wins over Florida State, Georgia Tech, Louisville, North Carolina and Clemson. The Wolfpack are 17-13-2 ATS and the total is 14-13 this season. NC State was a 10 point underdog against Villanova and the total was 138.

Louisville is coached by Rick Pitino. The Cardinals have home losses to Kentucky, Duke, NC State, and Notre Dame, road losses to North Carolina, Virginia, and Syracuse plus a neutral site loss to North Carolina in the ACC Tournament in Greensboro. Louisville has neutral site wins over Minnesota in Puerto Rico and Indiana at Madison Square Garden, home wins over Marshall, Cleveland State, Ohio State, Florida International, CS-Northridge, Long Beach State, Clemson, Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Miami, and Virginia, plus road wins over Western Kentucky, Wake Forest, Pitt, Boston College, Miami, Georgia Tech and Florida State. Louisville is 12-19-2 ATS and the total is 12-17-1 this season. The Cardinals were 2 point underdogs against Northern Iowa and the total was 119.

NC State is outscoring teams 70-65 this season. The Wolfpack are shooting 43.7% from the field and 35.5% from 3 point range. NC State makes 68.4% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 40.3% from the field and 33.2% from 3 point range. NC State averages 37.9 rebounds per game and opponents average 31.1 per game. The Wolfpack are #30 nationally in rebounding. NC State averages 11.6 assists, 10.5 turnovers, 3.9 steals and 5.2 blocks per game. Opponents average 11.9 assists, 10 turnovers, 5.3 steals and 3.9 blocks per game.

Trevor Lacey averages 15.6 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game. Ralston Turner averages 13.1 points and 3.3 assists per game. Anthony Barber averages 12.2 points, 3.3 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game. Kyle Washington averages 6.8 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game. Abdul-Malik Abu averages 6.2 points and 4.5 blocks per game. Four other players average at least 11 minutes a game. Guard Terry Henderson is ineligible for the season.

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Louisville is outscoring teams 69-60 this season. The Cardinals are #20 nationally in points allowed. Louisville shoots 42.9% from the field and 30.4% from 3 point range. The Cardinls are #312 out of 353 teams in three point shooting nationally. Louisville makes 68.3% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 38.8% from the field and 29.3% from 3 point range. The Cardinals are in the top 20 nationally in both categories. Louisville averages 38.1 rebounds per game and opponents average 33.1 per game. The Cardinals are #22 nationally in rebounds but #303 in rebounds allowed. Louisville averages 11.7 assists, 11.8 turnovers, 8.3 steals and 5.5 blocks per game. Opponents average 11.7 assists 14.5 turnovers, 6 steals and 2.7 blocks per game.

Terry Rozier averages 17.1 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 2 steals per game. Montrezl Harrell averages 15.7 points, 9.5 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1 steal and 1.2 blocks per game. Guard Chris Jones was dismissed from the team earlier in the season. He averaged 13.7 points, 4 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 2 steals per game. Wayne Blackshear averages 10.9 points, 4.3 assists, 1.2 assists and 1.2 steals per game. Three other players will also get significant time in the rotation.

NC State  is 9-2-1 ATS after a cover, 7-2 against teams with winning records, 8-3 overall, 26-10-1 in Friday games, 18-7-1 in neutral site games, 5-2 after a straight up win, 5-2-1 in NCAA Tournament games, and 33-16-2 against ACC teams.

Louisville is 25-10 ATS in neutral site games, 11-5 in NCAA Tournament games, 3-7 after a cover and overall, 2-6 against ACC teams, and 1-4 in Friday games.

North Carolina State is just as likely to lose to Boston College or Wake Forest as beat Villanova or Duke. Both teams have had close calls to get here and I think this will be a close game. I like Louisville to win a low scoring game.

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