The second day of the NCAA tournament will be played on Friday, March 17, and we have this South Region tilt in Colorado, so make sure you get the best Wolfpack vs. Bluejays betting pick and odds.
NC State will face Creighton at Ball Arena in Denver, CO, in the first round of the NCAA tournament. The Bluejays are 5-point favorites on BetOnline Sportsbook, while the total is set at 148.5 points. These non-conference rivals will meet for the first time since 2016. The winner of this game will take on Baylor or Santa Barbara in the next round.
Wolfpack were dismantled by Clemson in the ACC quarterfinal
The NC State Wolfpack (23-10, 16-15-2 ATS) ended the regular season with a couple of losses to Clemson and Duke. The Wolfpack was convincing in a 97-77 victory over the Virginia Tech Hokies in the second round of the ACC tournament but were blown away by the Clemson Tigers in the quarterfinals. NC State played well in the opening half and trailed by just three points; however, they scored just 18 points in the second 20 minutes and suffered a massive 80-54 defeat. The Wolfpack shot only 35.0% from the field and made five triples opposite Clemson’s 11, while the Tigers also dominated rebounds (41-28) and assists (16-8).
Senior forward D.J. Burns Jr. led the Wolfpack with 12 points. Terquavion Smith scored 11 points, Jarkel Joiner added ten points and two steals, while Jack Clark had ten points, team-high seven rebounds, and game-high four thefts. Clemson’s bench outscored NC State’s 20-4.
F Dusan Mahorcic is idle due to a dislocated kneecap, and he is not expected to return until the end of March.
Bluejays couldn’t do much against Xavier in the Big East semis
The Creighton Bluejays (21-12, 16-17-0 ATS) beat Georgetown and DePaul to conclude the regular season and then defeated the Villanova Wildcats in the quarterfinal of the Big East tournament. Still, the Bluejays couldn’t get past the Xavier Musketeers in the semifinal and lost 82-60. Creighton wasn’t good from the floor (37.5%) and lost the rebounding battle; Xavier had 45 rebounds opposite the Bluejays’ 27, 16 of which were offensive ones.
Junior center Ryan Kalkbrenner led the Bluejays with 18 points and team-high three steals. Baylor Scheierman followed with 15 points and team-high seven rebounds, while Trey Alexander had 12 points, four boards, and two thefts.
- 3-9 ATS in the last 12 games following a straight-up loss of more than 20 points
- 1-3-1 ATS in the last five NCAA Tournament games
- 1-4 ATS in the last five Friday games
- 6-1 ATS in the last seven games following a straight-up loss of more than 20 points
- 10-3 ATS in the last 13 neutral site games
NC State Wolfpack vs. Creighton Bluejays Pick
NC State has a slightly better offense and Creighton has a slightly stronger defense, so we can expect a tight affair here. The Wolfpack scores 78.2 points per game opposite the Bluejays’ 76.6 points per contest, while NC State allows 70.8 ppg opposite Creighton’s 68.5 ppg. The Bluejays did surrender 82 against Xavier in the most recent game, but I don’t think they will be that lenient defensively in this one. NC State allowed 71+ points in each of the previous five games, and I believe that a stronger D is going to prevail here. That’s why I am backing Creighton.
Pick: Take the Bluejays at -4.5 (-130)
Creighton scored just 60 points against Xavier, but the Bluejays’ offense played incredibly well before that game, scoring 84+ points in three consecutive games. I expect both Creighton and NC State to score 70+ points here, and this duel could easily go down to the wire, so I am going with a high-scoring affair. Over is 9-4 in the Wolfpack’s last 13 games following a straight-up loss; Over is 4-1 in NC State’s previous five NCAA Tournament games, Over is 4-1 in the Bluejays’ last five overall, while Over is 7-2 in Creighton’s previous nine neutral site games.
Pick: Go Over 147.5 points (-120)