#11 NC State vs. #2 Kansas Sweet 16 Predictions for 3/23/12

Last Updated: March 22nd, 2012 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist)
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Many think that the NC State Wolfpack are going to be the team to get the job done and become that coveted double digit seed to make it to the Elite 8. However, the Kansas Jayhawks are one of the favorites on the March Madness odds, and we know that they aren’t going to go down without a fight. Check out our Sweet 16 predictions for this big time clash!

2012 Sweet 16 Matchup: #4 NC State Wolfpack vs. #1 Kansas Jayhawks
Midwest Region Location: Scottrade Arena, St. Louis, MO
Sweet 16 Date/Time: Friday, March 23rd, 10:15 p.m.
Wisconsin vs. Kansas Television Coverage: TBS

Key #1: The Wolfpack have to play this game loose
It is tough to say that a team from the ACC has to play like it has nothing to lose, knowing that this is a side that has gone up against the likes of the North Carolina Tar Heels and Duke Blue Devils this year. However, what we have found over the course of the last few weeks is that NC State is really playing with a different sort of swagger about it. The team doesn’t feel like it is choking away those pivotal games that it needs to get into the dance, and though it didn’t ultimately make it to the ACC Tournament Final, it sure looked like one of the best teams in the conference. CJ Leslie has to keep his head on straight, and the team has to do whatever it can to get the ball in the hands of Scott Wood from long range. He is an assassin and a veteran, and he is the type of player that can put the whole team on his back and lead the club to a tremendous victory.

Sweet 16 Odds at Wager Web Sportsbook
NC State Wolfpack +8
Kansas Jayhawks -8
Over/Under 142.5
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Key #2: The Jayhawks need to dominate in the paint
You read that right: Dominate. This is what the Jayhawks just haven’t been doing in this tournament. There have been too many shots from the outside, and players like Jeff Withey and Thomas Robinson, though are getting their stats, just don’t seem to be anywhere near as dominating as they were at times during the Big XII campaign. This also means that the little guys have to get into the paint and do some slashing, and it almost seems like the moment has been too big for Tyshawn Taylor to withstand even though this is now his second year here in the tourney. Robinson and Withey both have double-double potential, but they are going to have to be imposing to a somewhat undersized Wolfpack outfit that might not be in the greatest of shape coming into this one to compete on the glass.

Key #3: The defensive pressure has to be there for Kansas
This more or less goes right along with the fact that the Jayhawks have to be a dominating team in the paint. Every now and again, you see this defense go to sleep. We saw it at home against the Missouri Tigers when they went on that big time run in the comeback at Allen Fieldhouse, and we saw it in spurts with Robbie Hummel and the Purdue Boilermakers. Still, this is a team that ranks in the Top 50 in basically every major defensive category, and if it is going to play like that team, it is going to take a truly remarkable shooting effort for the Jayhawks to get knocked out. Getting lazy on the defensive end of the court can, and has been this team’s downfall in the past, and we are afraid that the only way that Rock Chalk gets booted here in St. Louis, a de facto home court, is if it doesn’t have the mindset to get the job done.

Click Here to get the best March Madness picks that you’ll find on the internet, including our NCAA Tournament picks and the Sweet 16 picks for the rest of the NCAA Tournament game odds.

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Posted in NCAA Basketball - Last Updated on Thursday, March 22nd, 2012 @ 4:46 pm (EST)
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