NORTH CAROLINA STATE WOLFPACK (4-2)
vs. CONNECTICUT HUSKIES (6-1)
Jimmy V Classic – New York, NY
Tip-off: Tuesday, 9:30 p.m. ET
Line: NC State -5, Total: 144
Connecticut will be looking to knock off a ranked opponent for the second time this season when they go up against No. 25 North Carolina State at the Jimmy V Classic in New York on Tuesday night.
UConn opened the season by beating Michigan State in Germany, though the team has since been fairly underwhelming (0-3 ATS in lined games, all on neutral courts). NC State is off to a disappointing start, entering the year as a favorite in the ACC but already dropping two games. The Wolfpack have failed to cover in their past two lined games, a neutral court loss to Oklahoma State and road loss at Michigan.
Can NC State pull off the win in the northeast? For the answer, connect to College Basketball Best Bets for all the Expert picks throughout the entire 2012-13 season. The StatFox experts are a collective 52.3% ATS (92-84-5) in college basketball Best Bets for the season, led by StatFox Gary, who is 6-2 ATS in the past nine days and 61% ATS (19-12) for the season. StatFox Dave is at 52% ATS (35-32-1) for the season after going 57% ATS (26-20-1) since Nov. 17. StatFox Brian is 5-1 ATS (83%) in the past six days and sits at 51% ATS for the season.
The Wolfpack should have a definite edge in the frontcourt in this one. F C.J. Leslie (11.7 PPG, 7.5 RPG) has gone for a double-double in each of his past two games, including a season-high 16 points and 10 boards at Michigan. PF Richard Howell (14.2 PPG on 74% FG, 7.8 RPG) is a double-double threat as well, but he’s battled foul trouble all season, fouling out in less than 20 minutes in the Oklahoma State and Michigan losses. Freshman F T.J. Warren (15.3 PPG on 70% FG) got his first career start at Michigan and scored 18 points on 8-for-10 FG. PG Lorenzo Brown (10.5 PPG, 6.0 APG) continues to be steady at the point, but hasn’t shot well early this season (34% FG). Sharp-shooters Scott Wood (10.5 PPG, 44% 3-pt FG) and Rodney Purvis (10.0 PPG, 56% threes) round out a rotation in which six players average double-figures.
UConn’s strength is clearly in its backcourt, as the top three scorers are all guards: Shabazz Napier (18.6 PPG), Ryan Boatright (13.7 PPG, 4.9 APG) and Omar Calhoun (10.9 PPG). The strong guard play has allowed the Huskies to limit turnovers (11.1 TOPG), but they are not shooting well, hitting 30% of their threes. Up front, their bigs will have to contain NC State’s frontcourt on the defensive end. DeAndre Daniels (8.3 PPG, 5.0 RPG) and Tyler Olander (5.4 PPG, 4.7 RPG) have been up-and-down in the early going, and while the Huskies have defended well (37.6% FG allowed) they’re allowing 14.7 offensive rebounds per game.