There are 16 “Round of 32” games on Saturday and Sunday as the most exciting weekend of the sports calendar continues. As we always do every March here at MSF, we try to cover you with previews, informed and reasoned predictions, and pertinent viewing info as soon as we can get it posted.
In this post, we preview the Midwest Region’s second round matchup between the 3rd-seeded Georgetown Hoyas and the 11th-seeded NC State Wolfpack.
Georgetown-NC State Game Info
- Seeds & Region: #3 Georgetown v #11 NC State in Midwest Region
- Georgetown-NC State Date: Sunday, 3/18
- Georgetown-NC State Tip Time: 12:15
- Georgetown-NC State Location: Columbus
- Georgetown-NC State TV: CBS
- Georgetown-NC State Announcers: Tim Brando and Mike Gminski
- Georgetown-NC State Point Spread: TBA
- Tickets: Georgetown-NC State Tickets
- Tickets: Midwest Regional Tickets in St. Louis
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Georgetown-NC State Analysis and Prediction
North Carolina State pulled off one of the only upsets in the tournament so far, beating six seed San Diego State by 14 points on Friday. The Wolfpack got strong performances from a number of frontcourt players, including 22 points from Richard Howell and 15 more from C.J. Leslie. The Hoyas held off upset-minded Belmont by 15 points in their matchup, as senior Jason Clark paced the team with 21 points.
Georgetown’s defense continues to be its strength. The Hoyas finished the season ranked sixth in adjusted defensive efficiency, thanks in large part to the top-ranked three-point defense and the fifth-rated effective field goal percentage defense.
Two-point defense and solid defensive rebounding will be critical against the size of North Carolina State’s front line. Unlike San Diego State, Georgetown has the size and length to really compete with the Wolfpack inside. They rank 77th in defensive rebounding percentage, which should make for a good battle with NC State, who grabs 35.7 percent of its misses.
On the other end of the floor, Georgetown ranks just inside the Top 50 in adjusted offensive efficiency, while North Carolina State ranks 72nd on defense. The Hoyas appear to have a slight advantage on the offensive glass, as they grab 35.5 percent of their missed shots. Turnovers could also be a factor, with the Hoyas posting a 19.5 turnover rate and the Wolfpack ranking 253rd on defense.
For the most part though, Georgetown’s offensive numbers and North Carolina State’s defensive stats match up relatively well. Ultimately I like Georgetown’s experience with Jason Clark, Henry Sims, and Hollis Thompson to go with the ever-improving play of freshman Otto Porter. I think the Hoyas will slow NC State down with their stingy defense while their unique offensive will prove difficult to stop on the other end.
Predicted Winner: Georgetown
Georgetown Hoyas Team Capsule
- Conference: Big East
- Record: 23-8 (12-6 conf)
- Last 10 Games: 6-4
- Record vs. Tournament Teams: 8-6
- Wins vs. Tournament Teams: Alabama, Connecticut, Louisville, Marquette, Memphis (2), Notre Dame, South Florida
- Losses vs. Tournament Teams: Cincinnati (2), Kansas, Marquette, Syracuse, West Virginia
- Player to Watch: Henry Sims (6’10” C, Sr.) – 11.7 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 3.5 apg, 1.4 bpg
Georgetown Bottoms Line:
The Hoyas were one of the season’s biggest surprises, as they finished tied for fourth in the Big East. They are one of the top defensive teams in the country and rank seventh in adjusted efficiency. They limit opponents to just 26.6 percent from beyond the arc and have a high block percentage as well. The Hoyas also do a solid job of preventing offensive rebounds. On offense they finished just inside the Top 50 in efficiency with their greatest strengths a high two-point shooting percentage and a 35.5 offensive rebounding percentage. Georgetown doesn’t shoot the three all that well, but the Hoyas also don’t take a ton of shots from long range in the first place.
Five players do the bulk of the scoring, led by senior Jason Clark with 13.9 points per game. Sophomore Hollis Thompson is the team’s top long-range shooter, making 44.4 percent from deep. He averages 12.7 points and pulls down 5.6 rebounds per game. Big man Henry Sims hadn’t shown much during his career, but he stepped up this season to lead the team in assists and blocked shots and finished second in rebounding and third in scoring. He posted strong rebounding percentages on both ends and does a great job of drawing fouls and getting to the line. Freshman Otto Porter got better as the season went along and led the team in rebounding while shooting 51.8 percent from the field.
NC State Wolfpack Team Capsule
- Conference: ACC
- Record: 22-12 (9-7 conf)
- Last 10 Games: 5-5
- Record vs. Tournament Teams: 3-8
- Wins vs. Tournament Teams: Texas, UNC-Asheville, Virginia
- Losses vs. Tournament Teams: Duke, Florida State, Indiana, North Carolina (3), Syracuse, Vanderbilt
- Player to Watch: C.J. Leslie (6’8” F, So.) – 14.6 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 1.1 spg, 1.6 bpg, 53.2 FG%
NC State Bottoms Line:
The Wolfpack snuck into the tournament with a decent showing in the ACC Tournament, which is an impressive achievement in Mark Gottfried’s first year at the helm.
Five players score at least 10.6 points per game, which isn’t necessarily surprising since the team plays only seven guys in most contests. C.J. Leslie is an explosive athlete, who has played extremely well down the stretch. He boasts strong rebounding percentages on both ends of the floor, blocks shots at a high rate, and does a great job of getting to the free throw line.
He’s joined up front by Richard Howell, who nearly averages a double-double with 10.7 points and 9.3 rebounds per game and ranks in the Top 75 in both offensive and defensive rebounding percentage. Point guard Lorenzo Brown does a little of everything with 12.7 points, 6.4 assists, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.8 steals. On the perimeter, N.C. State also has sharpshooter Scott Wood, who shoots over 41 percent from three-point range and over 91 percent from the line.
The Wolpfack finished 33rd in adjusted offensive efficiency, with their impressive performance on the offensive boards a big reason why. They don’t get to the line a ton, but their other offensive numbers are all above average. On the defensive end, they don’t force many turnovers but still managed to finish 75th in adjusted efficiency.
Related: Jump to our Midwest Region Bracket Breakdown
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Then have a fun, exuberant, responsible St. Patrick’s Day celebration tomorrow, enjoying a Guinness or two while watching basketball. What could be better?