Midwest Region Second Round: North Carolina St Wolfpack vs San Diego St Aztecs

NCAA Tournament Midwest Region Second Round
#11 North Carolina St Wolfpack vs #6 San Diego St Aztecs
Nationwide Arena – Columbus, Ohio
Friday, March 16, 2012, 12:40 pm Eastern, TV: truTV
Opening Line: Pick
Current Line: NC State -2 1/2
Opening Total: 138
Current Total: 137
Opening Money Line: SDSU -115 / NC State -105
Current Money Line: NC State -145 / SDSU +125

North Carolina St takes on San Diego St in the midwest region second round in Columbus Friday. The Wolfpack are slight favorites

The 26-7 San Diego St Aztecs coached by Steve Fisher, finished tied for first in the tough Mountain West with New Mexico. The Aztecs lost in the MWC Championship game to the Lobos 68-59. The loss snapped a 6 game losing streak for the Aztecs. SDSU is making their third straight appearance in the NCAA tournament. They made it to the sweet 16 last season. After losing 4 starters from that team it was supposed to be a rebuilding year for the Aztecs, but they have far exceeded expectations.

The #6 seeded Aztecs will take on the #11 North Carolina St Wolfpack, coached by Mark Gottfried. The winner will take on the winner of Georgetown and Belmont in the third round Sunday. The Wolfpack are 22-12 and were on a four game winning streak before they lost in heartbreaking fashion to North Carolina 69-67 in the ACC semifinals. The Wolfpack are making their first trip to the Dance since 2006. San Diego St and North Carolina St have never played each other before.

The Aztecs have wins over UC-Davis, USC, Long Beach St, Arizona, UC-Santa Barbara, Cal, UC-Riverside, UNLV, Colorado St twice, Air Force, Wyoming twice, Boise St 3 times, New Mexico and TCU twice. SDSU has losses to Baylor, Creighton, UNLV, Colorado St, New Mexico twice and Air Force.

NC State has wins over Princeton, Texas, St. Bonaventure, Maryland, Wake Forest twice, Boston College three times, Miami twice, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, and Virginia. The Wolfpack have losses to Vanderbilt, Indiana, Stanford, Syracuse, Georgia Tech, North Carolina 3 times, Virginia, Duke, Florida St, and Clemson.

San Diego St is outscoring opponents 72-63 this season. The Aztecs are shooting 45.7% from the field and 33.1% from 3 point range. SDSU makes 70% from the free throw line. The Aztecs average 37.5 rebounds a game with a rebounding margin of +5.1. SDSU averages 12.4 assists, 12.8 turnovers, 5.7 steals, and 2.3 blocks a game. Aztec opponents are shooting 39.8% from the field and 33.1% from 3 point range. San Diego St forces 13.1 turnovers a game.

SDSU guard Jamaal Franklin averages 17.2 points, 7.9 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1 steal, and 0.6 blocks a game. He leads the Aztecs in scoring, rebounds, and blocks, and is shooting 31.8% from 3 point range. He is the MWC player of the year. Chase Tapley averages 15.7 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and 1.8 steals a game to lead the team. He is shooting 43.3% from 3 point range. Xavier Thames averages 10.3 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 4.2 assists a game to lead the team. James Rahon averages 8.8 points, and 2.7 rebounds a game. Garrett Green, Tim Shelton, and Deshawn Stephens also get significant minutes.

NC State is outscoring opponents 73-68 this season. The Wolfpack are shooting 46.3% from the field, including 35.5% from 3 point range. North Carolina St makes 70.8% of their free throws. The Wolfpack average 37.2 rebounds a game and have a rebounding margin of +4.2. NC State averages 16 assists, 12.8 points, 6.9 steals, and 4.1 blocks a game. North Carolina St is 13th in assists nationally. Wolfpack opponents are shooting 41.8% from the field including 33.8% from 3 point range. NC State forces 12.5 turnovers a game.

NC State Forward C.J. Leslie averages 14.6 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 1.1 steals, and 1.6 blocks a game to lead the team. Lorenzo Brown averages 12.7 points, 4.3 rebounds, 6.4 assists, and 1.8 steals a game. Brown leads the team in assists and steals. Forward Scott Wood averages 12.5 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 1.7 assists a game. Wood is shooting 41.1% from 3 point range. Richard Howell averages 10.7 points, 9.3 rebounds to lead the team, and 1.1 assists a game  C.J. Williams averages 10.6 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.1 steals a game. He is shooting 33.3% from 3 point range.  . DeShawn Painter averages 6.4 points, and 4.3 rebounds.

NC State is 15-14-1 ATS and the total is 18-12 this season. SDSU is 16-14 ATS and the total is 15-14-1 this season. The Wolfpack are 3-0-1 after a cover and against teams with winning records, 4-0 as a favorite, 5-0-1 overall, 5-0 in neutral site games, 4-1 in non-conference games, 18-8-1 in Friday games, 2-5-1 as a favorite, and 1-4-1 after a straight up loss. The Aztecs are 5-1 ATS in Friday games, 4-1 after failing to cover, 7-2 as an underdog, 6-2 in non-conference games, 12-4-1 as an underdog of 6.5 points or less, and 31-15-1 against teams with winning records.

These two teams are very similar statistically. SDSU plays slightly better defense, but the rest of the stats are almost identical. The Aztecs won’t be intimidated playing a middle of the road ACC team. I like San Diego St to win a close game.

Our college basketball handicappers are dominating the sports books as the NCAA  tournamnet is in full swing.




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