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NC State vs. Oakland Odds, Picks, and Predictions

Written by: Bryan Zarpentine
Published March 23, 2024
10 min read
  • NC State got at least 16 points from four different players in its First Round win over Texas Tech

  • Oakland’s Jack Gohlke made 10 three-pointers in the team’s upset of Kentucky

  • Oakland forward Trey Townsend has three double-doubles in his last four games

There will be at least one double-digit seed going to the Sweet 16. That's because Saturday’s Round of 32 matchups include the no. 11 NC State Wolfpack facing the no. 14 Oakland Golden Grizzlies in the South Region. NC State pulled off a slight upset over Texas Tech in the First Round while Oakland was the talk of the tournament on the first full day after a shocking upset over Kentucky. It was Oakland’s first-ever NCAA Tournament win outside of the First Four, giving the Grizzlies a chance to get to the Sweet 16 while the Wolf Pack are aiming to return to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2015.

March Madness 2024 Odds Picks Predictions NC State vs. Oakland

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NC State vs. Oakland Predictions and Odds

NC State Predictions

Some questioned whether NC State could sustain its momentum after winning five straight games during the ACC Tournament just to get into the Big Dance. The Wolfpack emphatically answered those questions with an 80-67 win over Texas Tech. It’s starting to look like NC State’s four-game losing streak to close out the regular season is the aberration and not the team’s sudden hot streak.

Big man DJ Burns proved to be too tough for Texas Tech to handle in the first round. Despite foul trouble limiting him to 16 minutes, Burns scored 16 points against the Red Raiders. His backup Ben Middlebrooks also had a big game, coming off the bench to score 21 points. Meanwhile, Mohamed Diarra had a double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds against Texas Tech, as the NC State frontcourt dominated the game from start to finish and could prove to be a handful for Oakland on Saturday.

Of course, NC State is normally a guard-driven team. Leading scorer DJ Horne was hindered by an injury late in the regular season but has performed well since returning. He followed up his 29 points in the ACC Championship Game with 16 points against Texas Tech. Guards Jayden Taylor and Casey Morsell also average double figures, giving the Wolfpack a well-balanced attack if Diarra and Middlebrooks can continue to perform.

Oakland Predictions

The Grizzlies were able to take advantage of a porous Kentucky defense in the first round, upsetting the Wildcats with an 80-76 win. Jack Gohlke came off the bench and made 10 three-pointers, nearly tying the all-time tournament record. The key will be trying to replicate that success moving forward.

Gohlke is obviously a talented shooter, but his success on Thursday covered up a poor performance from the rest of the Oakland backcourt, which didn’t produce much offensively. Senior Blake Lampman was limited to just three points and one assist despite averaging 12.8 points per game on the season. He needs to be better if the Grizzlies are going to keep their Cinderella run alive.

Of course, Oakland's offense usually goes through forward Trey Townsend, who leads the team in points and assists with 16.9 points and 3.1 assists per game. He came up with 17 points and 12 rebounds against Kentucky for his third double-double in his last four games. However, Townsend will need more help from his supporting cast against NC State because Gohlke can’t be counted on to make 10 three-pointers again.

NC State vs. Oakland Pick

The Grizzlies have a world of confidence after knocking off Kentucky. However, facing NC State may not be a favorable matchup for them, which is why DraftKings has NC State favored by 5.5 points. The Wolfpack is stronger defensively, holding four of their last five opponents below 70 points. They have the athletes to contain Townsend and prevent Gohlke from having another big game. Meanwhile, Horne will be the best guard on the floor while the Grizzlies may not have an answer for Burns inside. Barring another great shooting performance from Oakland, NC State should be able to pull away in this game and cover the spread on its way to the Sweet 16.

NC State vs. Oakland How to Watch

  • Teams: NC State vs. Oakland

  • Location: PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

  • Date: Saturday, March 23 at 7:10 PM EST

  • TV: ParaTBS

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AUTHOR

Bryan Zarpentine

168 Articles

Bryan Zarpentine is a 2008 graduate of Syracuse University and has been working as a freelance writer and editor since 2010. During that time, he has contributed to countless sites while covering baseball, soccer, the NFL, college football, and college basketball.

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