BANKER (Virginia Tech vs. NC State)
Last week I was on the other side of this matchup and had NC State +9.5 as I felt that was too many points and NC State won outright. This time around, I think Virginia Tech gets the job done with a win in the road. NC State has really been struggling since early December as they’ve gone 2-7 in their L9 games including 0-5 at home during that stretch as well. NC State has really struggled on defense this year as they are ranked 196th in adjusted defensive efficiency, 215th in defensive 3-point percentage, and 254th in defensive 2-point percentage so they have really struggled to defend the paint this year.
Virginia Tech has a very methodical offense that can become anemic at times but overall, they have been very efficient. Virginia Tech is ranked 37th in adjusted offensive efficiency, 41st in effective field goal percentage, 8th in the country in 3-point field goal percentage so they can really shoot the ball from the outside. On the other side of the ball, Virginia Tech has been just as good on defense as they rank 41st in overall adjusted defensive efficiency, 47th in defensive effective field goal percentage, and 13th overall in defensive 3-point percentage defense so they really defend well at all 3 levels. Both teams have played tough schedules as Virginia teach ranks 57th in strength of schedule and NC State is ranked 66th in that same category.
NC State has struggled against the top tier teams on their schedule though as their most impressive win to this point is probably their earlier win over VT on the road. I think there will be some added motivation from Virginia tech in this one due to the fact they lost in embarrassing fashion to home to NC State in the first matchup. I expect the Virginia Tech defense to be flying around and should limit NC State’s offensive production. Score Prediction: 74-68 Virginia Tech
Stony Brook is a solid team out of the American east conference and come into this game with an impressive 10-6 record. In this matchup they face a Binghamton team who is one of the worst teams in the American East. They are ranked 321st in overall adjusted defensive efficiency so they are very bad in defense. On the other side of the ball Binghamton isn’t much better as they are ranked 279th in adjusted offensive efficiency, 269th in offensive 2-point percentage, and 282nd in turnover percentage so they really struggle to take care of the ball on offense.
Overall, Stony Brook is the much better and talented team, and they have a chance to win the American east conference this year so I don’t believe they will take this game lightly. I expect Stony Brook to assert themselves in the paint and they are in the top 30 in the country in lowest turnover percentage on offense, so I also expect them to take care of the ball and run efficient offense leading them to a win. Score Prediction: 81-68 Stony Brook
New Hampshire is also out of the American east conference and comes into this game with a respectable 6-5 record, but they face the arguably worst team in the entire northeast region in Hartford. Hartford has had a large drop off this season as they come into this game with a 2-10 record and don’t have a single win at home this season. Hartford has really struggled on defense as well as they rank 328th in overall adjusted defensive efficiency, 304th in defensive effective field goal percentage, and 295th in defensive 3-point percentage.
New Hampshire is an excellent 3-point shooting team as they rank 7th in the country in 3-point shooting as a team which is very impressive for a team out of this conference. I expect New Hampshire to knock down outside shots and should use their distinct height advantage to control the paint as well. Score Prediction: 75-68 New Hampshire.