Time: 9 p.m. ET
Venue: PNC Arena, Raleigh, NC
Where to watch: ACC Network X
Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks
DraftKings: NC State -6
FanDuel: NC State -5.5
BetMGM: NC State -5.5
Caesars: NC State -6
Wake Forest: 17-10 (9-7 ACC)
NC State: 21-7 (11-6 ACC)
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Wake Forest - NC State preview, prediction and analysis
One loss to the Syracuse Orange will apparently send you out of the top 25, and that’s what happened with the NC State Wolfpack this week despite beating North Carolina over the weekend. They’ll try to start their ascension back in the top 25 when they host the Wake Forest Demon Deacons on Wednesday in Raleigh.
NC State has been alternating wins and losses over the last few games but are coming off a 77-69 win over North Carolina on Sunday. It was the in-state rivalry game that you know was going to need a star performance to take over. Jarkel Joiner joined the party for that, finishing with 29 points on 11 of 21 shooting. When you score like that, who needs assists or rebounds? He had one each.
The Wolfpack shot 45 percent from the floor and helped with D.J. Burns chipping in with 18 points.
“He came out of a timeout, he looked me dead in my face and he said, ‘Set me some ballscreens, I’m hot,'" Burns said of Joiner.
That, he very much did. The NC State guard has turned it up lately, along with Burns, and things have peaked up quickly even though they fell out of the top 25. They’re still a danverous team and just 2.5 games back of Virginia. They can still easily catch Clemson and maybe Pittsburgh if they should falter, but they’re making things fun here.
Wake Forest had a three-game winning streak and on Saturday when they lost 96-87 to the Miami Hurricanes, a team in which there is no shame in losing to one of the top 15 teams in the country. But that did put a damper on the three wins that Wake Forest was able to get out of that stretch, albeit against teams that are not really considered to be top of the food chain. It's also hard to win when you are playing seven rotation players but still find a way to shoot 55% from the floor. Tyree Appleby had 15 points and nine assists, Damari Monsanto and Cameron Hildreth had 14 points each and Wake Forest actually shot 15 of 35 from 3 point range.
Some of the most perfect game for Appleby. Not only did he have 9 assists, but he had 12 turnovers which was tied for the second most turnovers in a Division One game in the last 13 years. Normally I would feel very confident in the fact that they only lost by 9 to one of the best teams in the country, but when you're playing with just seven rotation players and your point guard commits 12 turnovers, you're really going to need more than just a typical seven man rotation. You need to find guys that can play the point guard role effectively and take the pressure off this poor young kid.
That's why it's pretty incredible that Wake Forest has this record of 17-10 because if I had to coach a team for an entire season with a seven man rotation, I would probably be fired before I even got a chance to coach any more games in the conference tournament. Wake Forest is 1.5 games behind Duke and NC State for the 4th and 5th spots in the ACC standings. Obviously they're not going to catch the top teams in that conference, but NC State also has the chance to draw closer to the likes of Clemson and Pittsburgh. And for the Wolfpack, that's really all you need to get you by.
More times than none I think that there is a shock that will come from the road team, but NC State has proven all year long that it is a very consistent team and it is going to find its way to the NCAA tournament where anything can happen. NC State 79, Wake Forest 67
Wake Forest is 20-8 ATS after winning 3 of 4 the last 3 seasons.
Wake Forest is 34-22 ATS following a conference game this season.
NC State is 12-28 ATS at home the last 3 seasons.
Projected starting lineup
PG: Tyree Appleby
SG: Daivien Williamson
SF: Cameron Hildreth
PF: Damari Monsanto
C: Andrew Carr
PG: Jarkel Joiner
SG: Casey Morsell
SF: Terquavion Smith
PF: Greg Gantt
C: D.J. Burns Jr.
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