2024 NCAA Tournament: Can Upstart NC State Take Out Texas Tech?

The NC State Wolfpack shocked the college basketball world by winning the ACC Tournament to steal a bid in the 2024 NCAA Tournament.

After reeling off wins over Louisville. Syracuse, Duke, Virginia and North Carolina over five days, the 11th-seeded Wolfpack (22-14) square off against No. 6 Texas Tech (23-10) in an NCAA South Region first-round game on Thursday in Pittsburgh.

Can NC State continue to defy the odds? Can it awaken the spirit of Jim Valvano’s national championship squad of 1983? With the state of North Carolina now legal for online sports betting, Tobacco Road wants to know. Read more about North Carolina legal online sports betting.

NC State vs. Texas Tech Odds

Sportsbooks are considering, among other factors, the physical toll the Wolfpack’s ACC run took on the team. Let’s see how they stack up against the Red Raiders.

NC State Players to Watch

Senior guard D.J. Horne is the straw that stirs the ‘Pack. He had 29 points in the upset of North Carolina in the ACC finale. On the season, he averages a team-leading 16.9 points and 1.4 steals. Senior forward D.J. Burns plays Robin to Horne’s Batman. Burns had 20 points in vanquishing the Tar Heels. He averages 12.4 points and 4 rebounds. The play of upperclassmen is so often the difference in the NCAA Tournament. These two standouts aren’t ready to stop playing. The Wolfpack is +18000 to win the national championship at DraftKings.
Detailed NC State roster breakdown

Texas Tech Players to Watch

As sophomore guard Pop Isaacs goes, so go the Red Raiders. Isaacs pumped in a team-best 15.9 points per game and dealed out 3.5 assists per contest. Senior backcourt mate Joe Toussaint is second in scoring at 12.1 ppg and first in assists with 4.3 a game. When the duo is in synch, they are tough to beat. When they struggle, as in a blowout loss to Houston in the Big 12 semis, down go the Red Raiders. Texas Tech is +2000 to make it to the Final Four at BetMGM.

Prediction

Take the Wolfpack moneyline as they keep on dancing with a 75-74 victory.

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Gerry Ahern is Managing Editor, Evergreen for Lineups. A veteran iGaming executive, editor and sports journalist, Ahern has covered some of the biggest sporting events on the planet, including the Olympics, Super Bowls, NCAA Men's Final Fours and College Football Playoffs.

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