NC State vs. Marquette Best Bet and Prediction for 3/29 March Madness Game

Can the Wolfpack's magical run continue in the Sweet 16 against the Marquette Golden Eagles?
Oakland v NC State
Oakland v NC State / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

The No. 11 seed NC State Wolfpack will look to keep their magical postseason run going on Friday night as they will play the No. 2 Marquette Golden Eagles in the Sweet 16.

The Wolfpack entered the NCAA tournament as one of the hottest teams in the country as they won five consecutive games, including the ACC Tournament championship over North Carolina, to get the automatic bid. 

NC State outlasted the No. 14 seed Oakland Golden Grizzlies in the Round of 32 on Saturday, winning 79-73 in overtime. Meanwhile, Marquette opened up the tournament with an 18-point win over No. 15 seed Western Kentucky on Friday and picked up a four-point win over No. 10 seed Colorado in the Round of 32 on Sunday.

The Wolfpack are a battle-tested squad as they have faced some tough opponents in the ACC this season, but the Golden Eagles are a good team and finished second in the Big East behind the reigning national champion, UConn Huskies.

Below, we’ll break down this exciting NCAA tournament matchup and see which team will move on to the Elite 8.

North Carolina State vs. Marquette Odds, Spread and Total

North Carolina State vs. Marquette Best Bet and Prediction

The Wolfpack had a convincing win over the No. 6 seed Texas Tech Raiders in the first round and found a way to slay the No. 14 seed Oakland Golden Grizzlies to be in the Sweet 16. 

If you told an NC State fan last month that this team would be in the Sweet 16, they wouldn’t believe you. The Wolfpack are running their offense through standout forward D.J. Burns Jr., who had a fantastic performance against Oakland over the weekend. Burns dropped 24 points, 11 rebounds, and four assists in the win.

The Wolfpack dominated the Golden Grizzlies on the glass (46-34) and shot 45.3 percent from the field while holding Oakland to 36.8 percent from the perimeter. In their win over Texas Tech, NC State dominated the Red Raiders in the paint (42-20) and played lockdown defense on the perimeter (38.7% from the field and 22.6% from three-point range).

Therefore, one could infer that the keys to victory for NC State is their perimeter defense and ability to win the rebounding battle and points in the paint.

However, it won’t be easy for the Wolfpack to dethrone the Golden Eagles, who are shooting 54.8 percent from the field and 39.5 from three-point range through the first two games of the NCAA tournament.

Marquette has four players scoring in double figures this season, including Kam Jones (17.1 points per game) and Tyler Kolek (15.3 points per game). Those two guards can take over a game by themselves, so NC State must continue to apply pressure on defense.

Along those same lines, Marquette has one of the best offenses in the country (112.8 ORtg, 48th in the NCAA) and can get a stop when necessary (100.3 DRtg, 89th in the NCAA). This Sweet 16 matchup will be fun to watch later this week as we’ll see which team can impose its will first.

NC State is 9-9-2 against the spread on the road/neutral court this season, while Marquette is 10-9-1 ATS on the road/neutral court but 17-10 ATS as the favorite. The Wolfpack are also 5-0 ATS in their last five games as the underdog.

Kevin Keatts’ crew will give the Golden Eagles all they can handle, but Shaka Smart’s team is too well-rounded and has the pieces to get to the Final Four.

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