NC State (12-5, 2-2) at Virginia (15-1, 1-0)
When: Sunday, January 14th 2018
Where: John Paul Jones Arena, Charlottesville, VA
Time: 6:00 ET | TV: ESPNU
Opening Odds: Virginia -14.5/133
Two surprising ACC squads will go head-to-head on Sunday night as the North Carolina State Wolfpack visit the third-ranked Virginia Cavaliers in Charlottesville. The Wolfpack are led by first-year coach Kevin Keatts and were predicted to finish near the bottom of the league, but have come up with huge wins over Duke and Clemson – their first consecutive victories against ranked teams since 2007. The one-loss Cavaliers were unranked and projected by most to be a middle-of-the pack team in the conference, but are now the fifth team in ACC history to move from unranked in preseason to the top three, joining Miami (2012-13), Georgia Tech (2003-04), Wake Forest (1980-81) and North Carolina (1972-73). Virginia ranks first nationally in scoring defense (53.0) and turnovers per game (nine) and is second in field-goal percentage defense (36.1) while riding a 13-game home win streak. Wolfpack sophomore center Omer Yurtseven is coming off a career-high 29 points on 12-of-18 shooting, including 5-of-6 from 3-point range and will challenge the Cavaliers’ defense that limited Syracuse to 38.3% shooting in Tuesday’s 68-61 victory. NC State leads the all-time series 82-64, but Virginia has won the last five including a 70-55 win last season.
NC State committed just four turnovers against Clemson – its fewest in almost six years – and converted 17 Clemson turnovers into 23 points. Graduate transfer Allerik Freeman (team-high 15.2 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.0 assists) scored 14 points and also tied his career high in assists for the second straight game with five. Point guard Markell Johnson (8.7 points, 6.6 assists) is expected to return against Virginia after missing the last seven games due to a suspension stemming from a legal issue.
Sophomore guard Kyle Guy (15.4 points, 44.2 3-point percentage) led the Cavaliers with 22 points while becoming the first player in coach Tony Bennett’s tenure at the school (since 2009-10) to play 40 minutes, while senior guard Devon Hall (11.9, 44.6) added 13 points, eight assists and seven rebounds. Freshman De’Andre Hunter (7.3 points) came off the bench to score 15 points and is averaging 13 points per game on 15-of-28 shooting over his last three games.
It’s really tough to score against this Virginia team, but the Cavaliers aren’t a really high-scoring team themselves, so laying double-digits is always a risky proposition. The Wolfpack are playing well enough against good teams to keep this one in single-digits.
Pick: NC State +15
- Wolfpack are 8-20-1 ATS in their last 29 vs. Atlantic Coast.
- Wolfpack are 4-11 ATS in their last 15 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- Wolfpack are 5-14 ATS in their last 19 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Wolfpack are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games following a straight up win.
- Wolfpack are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 Sunday games.
- Wolfpack are 1-7 ATS in their last 8 games following a ATS win.
- Wolfpack are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
- Wolfpack are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 road games.
- Wolfpack are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
- Cavaliers are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400.
- Cavaliers are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a losing road record.
- Cavaliers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 Sunday games.
- Cavaliers are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 games overall.
- Cavaliers are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games following a straight up win.
- Cavaliers are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 home games.
- Under is 5-0 in Wolfpack last 5 vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Under is 6-1 in Wolfpack last 7 road games.
- Under is 6-1 in Wolfpack last 7 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
- Under is 6-1 in Wolfpack last 7 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
- Over is 5-1 in Wolfpack last 6 overall.
- Over is 5-1 in Wolfpack last 6 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- Under is 4-1 in Wolfpack last 5 games following a ATS win.
- Over is 7-3 in Wolfpack last 10 Sunday games.
- Under is 5-0 in Cavaliers last 5 vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Under is 6-1 in Cavaliers last 7 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- Under is 9-3 in Cavaliers last 12 vs. Atlantic Coast.
- Under is 38-18-1 in Cavaliers last 57 games following a straight up win.
- Under is 41-20-1 in Cavaliers last 62 overall.
- Under is 5-0 in the last 5 meetings.
- Wolfpack are 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings in Virginia.
- Road team is 16-5 ATS in the last 21 meetings.