The theme for the 2023 ACC Tournament might just be the North Carolina-based teams on the NCAA Tournament bubble. With North Carolina fighting for its tournament life, the NC State Wolfpack can relate to their rivals. Going into the Wolfpack’s second round ACC Tournament game against Virginia Tech, Joe Lunardi of ESPN has the Wolfpack just in the tournament field. But that could change with a loss to the Hokies here.
Virginia Tech vs NC State Betting Pick
|ℹ️ The Pick:||NC State -2.5|
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This game will be played at Greensboro Coliseum at 9:30 PM ET on Wednesday, March 8, 2023.
Why Bet on NC State:
✅ NC State will be able to enjoy a pseudo-home court advantage in this game. It is being held in Greensboro, NC, just over an hour drive away from NC State’s home of Raleigh. That should mean a pro-Wolfpack crowd, which will help push them through to the quarterfinals.
✅ Virginia Tech did not look all that convincing in the first round against a lackluster Notre Dame team. NC State should be able to take advantage of the rest advantage they have over the Hokies in this game to put VA Tech’s season to an end once and for all.
✅ The Wolfpack should be able to take advantage of a huge mismatch against the defense of Virginia Tech. The Wolfpack have a top-50 offense per Kenpom’s ratings, while the Hokies are outside of the top-100 in the country on defense by those same metrics.
Virginia Tech Hokies: Hoping to Recapture ACC Tournament Magic
The Virginia Tech Hokies barely escaped the first round of the ACC Tournament, beating Notre Dame by three points in the matchup between the 11-seed and 14-seed. But they won, and that was all that mattered to them. Now they play for the second day in a row, as they hope to take down the NC State Wolfpack to keep their dream of repeating as ACC Tournament champions alive.
Last year, the Hokies needed to win the ACC Tournament to get into the NCAA Tournament field, and that is the case again here. But for them to put together another magical run to the ACC title, they will need to find a way to slow down one of the best offenses in college basketball.
NC State Wolfpack: Nothing to Gain, Everything to Lose
This game is an interesting one for the NC State Wolfpack, as they open their ACC Tournament following a first round bye. If they win this game, it likely doesn’t do much for their NCAA Tournament hopes, as Virginia Tech finished in the bottom-five in the ACC this season. But if NC State loses this game, they could see themselves fail to make the NCAA Tournament entirely.
To win this game against Virginia Tech, the interior defense of the Wolfpack will need to be on point. Grant Basile went 7/11 from the field for Virginia Tech in the first round against Notre Dame, and has been a fixture in the paint in March dating back to his time in the Horizon League with Wright State. If the Wolfpack can’t force the ball out of his hands deep in the paint, the Wolfpack could see their season come to an end.
Would a Loss Knock NC State Out Of the NCAA Tournament?
It is hard to predict whether or not a loss in this Virginia Tech vs NC State game would knock the Wolfpack out of the tournament entirely. One thing is for sure though: a loss would not help them. With teams that are currently projected to be on the wrong side of the bubble like North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Arizona State all set to play in their conference tournaments, NC State can’t afford a loss here.
Of course, it is possible that those other bubble teams could also lose their games and all of this becomes a moot point. But the only way that NC State can prevent themselves from having to worry on Selection Sunday is to continue winning basketball games.