NCAA Tournament Midwest Region First Round: #12 North Carolina State Wolfpack vs #12 Xavier Musketeers

2014 NCAA Tournament
Midwest Region – First Round

University of Dayton Arena – Dayton, Ohio
#12 North Carolina State Wolfpack vs #12 Xavier Musketeers  
Tuesday, March 18, 2014, 9:10 pm Eastern, TV: truTV
Opening Line: Xavier -2 1/2
Current Line: Xavier -2 1/2
Opening Total: 142
Current Total: 142
Opening Money Line: Xavier -145 / NC State +125
Current Money Line: Xavier -145 / NC State +125

Xavier is a 2.5 point favorite against North Carolina State in the Midwest Region first round Tuesday in Dayton.
Xavier is a 2.5 point favorite against North Carolina State in the Midwest Region first round Tuesday in Dayton.

The NCAA Tournament gets underway with two first round games Tuesday night. In Midwest regional action, the 21-13 North Carolina State Wolfpack and 21-12 Xavier Musketeers will play in Dayton. The winner will face #5 seed Saint Louis Thursday in Orlando. NC State and Xavier have never played each other before.

North Carolina State went 9-9 in the ACC and was part of a 3 way tie for seventh place. The Wolfpack advanced to the semifinals of the ACC Tournament by upsetting Syracuse in the quarterfinals. NC State lost to Duke 75-67 in the semifinals. That loss snapped a 4 game winning streak for the Wolfpack.

Xavier went 10-8 in their first year in the Big East. The Musketeers were part of a three way tie for third in the conference. Xavier lost to Creighton 86-78 in the semifinals of the Big East tournament. The Musketeers have lost 3 of their last 4 games.

North Carolina State is coached by Mark Gottfried. The Wolfpack have losses at Cincinnati, North Carolina Central, Missouri, Pittsburgh, Virginia, at Wake Forest, Duke twice, North Carolina twice, at Syracuse, at Clemson, and Miami. NC State has key wins over Florida Gulf Coast, Eastern Kentucky, Northwestern, Long Beach State, Detroit, at Tennessee, East Carolina, at Notre Dame, Maryland, Georgia Tech, Florida State, Miami twice, Wake Forest, at Virginia Tech, at Pittsburgh, and Boston College. North Carolina State is 18-12-1 ATS and the total is 17-13 this season.

North Carolina State is outscoring teams 71-70 this season. The Wolfpack are shooting  45.9% from the field and 30.3% from 3 point range. NC State is #330 out of 351 teams nationally in 3 point shooting. The Wolfpack are #292 in free throw shooting at 66.1% from the line. Opponents are shooting 42.4% from the field and 32% from 3 point range. NC State is averaging 34.6 rebounds per game and opponents average 31.3. The Wolfpack average 12.9 assists, 10.4 turnovers, 4.8 steals and 4 blocks per game. Opponents average 11.3 assists, 11.5 turnovers, 5.7 steals and 3.5 blocks per game.


Forward T.J. Warren averages 24.8 points, 7.2 rebounds, 1.1 assists, and 1.7 steals per game. Guard Ralston Turner averages 10.2 points and 2.4 rebounds per game. Guard Anthony Barber averages 8.7 points, 2.1 rebounds, and 3.6 assists per game. Guard Desmond Lee averages 8.4 points, 3 rebounds and 1.6 assists  per game. Kyle Washington, Jordan Vandenberg, Tyler Lewis and Lennard Freeman will also get significant minutes in the rotation. Vandenberg leads the team in blocks at 1.3 per game.

Xavier is coached by Chris Mack. The Musketeers have losses to Iowa, Tennessee, and USC (all in a tournament in the Bahamas), Creighton twice, at Providence, Seton Hall twice, Villanova twice, at Marquette, and at Georgetown. Xavier has key wins over Tennessee, Miami-(OH), Morehead State, Bowling Green Evansville, Cincinnati, at Alabama, Wake Forest, St. John’s twice, Butler twice, Marquette twice, Georgetown, DePaul twice, Providence, and Creighton. The Musketeers are 18-13 ATS and the total is 15-16 this season.

Xavier is outscoring opponents 72-68 this season. The Musketeers are shooting 47.1% from the field and 35.5% from 3 point range. Xavier is #41 in field goal percentage nationally. The Musketeers are shooting 68.8% from the field. Opponents are shooting 42.7% from the field and 35.4% from 3 point range. Xavier averages 36 rebounds per game and opponents average 28.3 per game. The Musketeers are #44 in rebounds allowed nationally. Xavier averages 14.8 assists, 12.4 turnovers, 5.8 steals and 2.9 blocks per game. Opponents average 14.3 assists, 11.3 turnovers, 5.5 steals and 4.6 blocks per game.

Guard Semaj Christon averages 17.1 points, 2.7 rebounds, 4.2 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. Forward Justin Martin averages 11.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 1 assist per game. Center Matt Stainbrook averages  10.4 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and 1 block per game. His brother Tim is also a role player on the team. Forward Isaiah Philmore averages 9.2 points and 5 rebounds per game. Guard Dee Davis averages 7.7 points, 1.8 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and 1.2 steals per game. Myles Davis, James Farr, Jalen Reynolds, and Brandon Randolph will also get time in the rotation. Forward Kamall richards is out for the season with a knee injury.

NC State is 5-0 ATS against teams with winning records, and overall, 4-0 after a cover, 21-7 in neutral site games, and 1-4-1 in non-conference games.

Xavier is 6-1 ATS in Tuesday games, 4-1 after failing to cover, 18-6-2 in NCAA Tournament games, 13-5 in non-conference games, and 2-5 against ACC teams.

Both of these teams are comfortable playing the high 60’s or low 70’s. It is a huge advantage for Xavier to play this game in nearby Dayton, about an hour’s drive from the Xavier campus. Still, North Carolina State has been the hotter team recently, and they have the best player on the court in Warren. I think that will be enough as the Wolfpack advance.

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