NC State Basketball vs. Northern Iowa Panthers preview, odds, live stream

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(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

NC State Basketball is looking to build on the momentum from upsetting No. 2 Arizona against Northern Iowa in the second round of Battle 4 Atlantis.

It didn’t take Kevin Keatts long to get a signature win as head coach of the Wolfpack. In just his fifth game since coming across the state from UNC-Wilmington, Keatts’ Wolfpack knocked off the second-ranked Arizona Wildcats in the opening round of the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas. Can this NC State basketball team keep things rolling against Northern Iowa?

NC State (5-0) was led by senior Allerik Freeman‘s 24 points in the 90-84 win over Arizona. The Baylor transfer is the Wolfpack’s leading scorer so far this season at 17.2 points per game. Freshman Braxton Beverly scored 20 points in 27 minutes off the bench and went 3-of-5 from three-point range. NC State outshot Arizona 40 percent to 11.8 percent from deep.

Northern Iowa’s (4-1) lone loss this season was to another North Carolina school. The Panthers fell 86-69 to the Tar Heels in the Dean Dome to begin the season. In the first round of the tournament, Northern Iowa knocked off SMU in a nail-biter 61-58. Senior Bennett Koch leads the Panthers with 16 points per game while shooting 65.9 percent from the floor.

Here’s how you can watch Thursday’s NC State Wolfpack vs. Northern Iowa Panthers game:

Date: Thursday, Nov. 23
Time: 3:00 p.m. ET
Location: Nassau, Bahamas
Venue: Imperial Arena
Live Stream: WatchESPN

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NC State is favored by 3.5 points in Thursday’s game and the total is 141. This is a classic NC State letdown spot. Wolfpack fans and those that have watched the teams from afar for so many years, basically since Jim Valvano, know that with the good will ultimately come the bad. Knocking off a ranked team would result in a near lock of losing to an unranked but scrappy team next. I think Keatts is the real deal. He will have them back up for this game. It won’t go smoothly, but they won’t fall on their face.

Prediction: NC State 70, Northern Iowa 65