NCAA March Madness: Creighton vs. NC State betting preview, odds and predictions

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NCAA March Madness: Creighton Bluejays vs. NC State Wolfpack betting preview, odds and predictions

In the 6 vs. 11 matchup in the South region of the 2023 NCAA tournament, the Creighton Bluejays face the NC State Wolfpack with a spot in the Round of 32 on the line. All tournament long, VSiN will be providing you with March Madness betting odds, in-depth team analysis and expert college basketball picks. Make us your one-stop shop for all of your betting needs. 

 

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How to watch Creighton vs. NC State

When: Friday, 4:00 p.m. ET

Where: Denver, Colorado

Watch: TNT

Odds for Creighton vs. NC State

Spread: Creighton -5

Total: 147.5 

(Odds accurate as of Sunday, March 12th at 11:00 p.m. ET)

Real-time betting splits at DraftKings Sportsbook

South Region No. 6 Seed Creighton Bluejays 

Creighton was a popular pick to win it all before the season started, but the team started just 6-6 this year. The Bluejays have, however, righted the ship at this point, and they still have all the talent in place to make a run in March Madness. Ryan Nembhard is one of the best point guards in all of college basketball, and Baylor Scheierman is a tremendous shooter on the perimeter. Creighton also has a good center in Ryan Kalkbrenner, and Trey Alexander and Arthur Kaluma are good wing players. All in all, this starting five is as good as any in the country. But can the team hold it together long enough to win a championship? Consistency wasn’t the Bluejays’ calling card this year.

South Region No. 11 Seed NC State Wolfpack

NC State won a lot of games during the regular season, which was ultimately the reason the Wolfpack were able to avoid missing out on this tournament. Kevin Keatts’ team didn’t have the most impressive resume when it comes to quality wins, and the overall struggles of the ACC didn’t do the program any favors. But the Wolfpack are still going to be a dangerous team to beat, and a lot of that has to do with Terquavion Smith. The sophomore is getting significant buzz as a potential lottery pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, as he’s a special offensive player. Guys like him are capable of swinging games in March Madness, so be careful with this NC State squad.

Creighton vs. NC State matchup analysis

When you look for possible National Championship contenders, you look at teams like Creighton. The Bluejays are a top-25 team in both adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency per Bart Torvik and just outside the top 25 in offense per Ken Pomeroy. A balanced team that does well in both areas usually makes a nice, long tournament run.

Creighton has some losses that you just shrug off. They also have some losses where you wonder what happened. Ryan Kalkbrenner’s December injury was a major contributing factor in a few of those, but the Bluejays lost by 22 to Xavier in the Big East Tournament to end what was an underwhelming regular season. The question is whether or not they can pull it all together now and be the title contender many thought they would be.

What is ironic is that NC State’s losses could be described in the same manner, including losses by 25 and 26 within the last three weeks to a Clemson team that didn’t even make the NCAA Tournament. The Wolfpack doesn’t really have any signature wins either, as they were just 1-6 in Quadrant I games. That Jan. 4 game against Duke feels like a really long time ago, especially when you consider just how weak the ACC was this season.

NC State feels like a really talented team that has lacked focus. There is only one focus at this time of the year, and you can’t help but wonder if a team with that kind of ceiling shows up when it matters most. On the other hand, the Wolfpack allows a high rate of shot attempts at the rim and Creighton does not. Creighton is 30th in 2P% and 20th in 2P% defense. NC State is 112th and 196th in those two metrics.

It sure feels like NC State needs a huge performance from 3 to win this game, but Creighton’s 3P Rate Against was one of the lowest in the nation at 29.8%. How far the Bluejays can go after playing themselves into a No. 6 seed is a fair question, but this looks like a favorable matchup in the first round.

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