Oakland vs. NC State March Madness Preview and Prediction

In a No. 14 vs. No. 11 matchup in the NCAA Tournament South Region, the Oakland Grizzlies face the NC State Wolfpack in second-round action.

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How to Watch Oakland vs. NC State

When: 7:10 pm ET on Saturday, March 23rd

Where: PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Watch: TBS

Odds for Oakland vs. NC State

(odds current at time of publish)

Spread: NC State

Total: 147.5

DraftKings Betting Splits | Live College Basketball Odds | Oakland vs. NC State Matchup

South Region No. 14 Oakland Grizzlies

After heading into the Horizon League tournament as the top-seeded team, Oakland won it all and punched a ticket to the dance. This Golden Grizzlies team has the potential to be tough in a win-or-go-home setting, as Trey Townsend is a difficult player to deal with. The jack-of-all-trades forward can score the basketball in a number of different ways, and he’s a good rebounder and passer. If some of Oakland’s guards can knock down some triples, the Golden Grizzlies might make an opponent uncomfortable. Oakland played Ohio State, Illinois and Drake pretty close earlier in the year. And the team scored a win over Xavier. That was all before the Golden Grizzlies downed Kentucky.

South Region No. 11 NC State

NC State shocked the world in winning the ACC tournament, beating Duke in the quarterfinals and North Carolina in the championship game. The Wolfpack are a tricky team to play against, as DJ Burns Jr. is a massive body that throws his weight around near the rim. And DJ Horne is an explosive scorer at the guard position, while Mohamed Diarra is a physical big that does the dirty work. Overall, there’s no denying that NC State has some talent, and Kevin Keatts is a smart head coach. So, you can’t rule out the possibility of the Wolfpack continuing to win games. NC State also backed the ACC tournament up with a thorough beatdown of Texas Tech last game.

Oakland vs. NC State Preview & Prediction

Not many people saw Oakland’s win over Kentucky coming, but there were some warning signs. The main one was that the Wildcats were a miserable defensive team all year. Kentucky finished the season 132nd in the country in adjusted defensive efficiency, and that ultimately ended up doing the team in. The Golden Grizzlies weren’t intimidated by the NBA talent on the Wildcats roster, and it was evident from the opening tip. Trey Townsend, who has been a monster all season, had 17 points and 12 rebounds in the win, and Jack Gohlke went nuclear from behind the 3-point line. The 24-year-old had 32 points and hit 10 shots from deep to stick a fork in John Calipari’s team.

Interestingly enough, this next matchup isn’t all that different for Oakland. While NC State has found another gear in March, the Wolfpack look like another offensive-minded team that isn’t impressive defensively. And NC State was putrid defensively all year, so there’s no reason to believe the Wolfpack are suddenly a reliable defensive team.

With that in mind, Oakland should be able to find some success offensively here. Perhaps Gohlke won’t hit 10 triples this time around, but Townsend should be better now that he’s facing worse athletes. And a guy like Blake Lampman should play better here than he did against the Wildcats.

The main concern for the Golden Grizzlies will be combating the size of the Wolfpack. DJ Burns Jr., Mohamed Diarra and Ben Middlebrooks will be a lot for Oakland to handle. But the Golden Grizzlies will work as hard as they can on the boards. And they’ll make a real effort to defend the 3-point line, which they have all year. If they can win the battle from 3-point land, they’ll have a chance to win this outright.

Estimated Score: NC State 75.2 – Oakland 69.1

For expert predictions, go to our college basketball best bets page.