(3) Georgetown vs. (11) North Carolina State: Midwest Region
Georgetown 24-8, 12-6 Big East (At large)
N.C. State 23-12, 9-7 ACC (At large)
Time: 12:15 p.m. Sunday
Location: Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio
First round results
Georgetown def. Belmont, 74-59
N.C. State def. San Diego State, 79-65
Winner will face: (2) Kansas or (10) Purdue, Friday in St. Louis
Georgetown No. 15 AP; No. 15 ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll
N.C. State No. 36 ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll
N.C. State 40
Line: Georgetown -3½ (O/U 132)
Players to Watch
Georgetown: C Henry Sims, 6-10 Sr. (11.7 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 3.5 apg); G Jason Clark, 6-2 Sr. (13.9 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 1.7 spg); F Otto Porter, 6-8 Fr. (9.5 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 51.8% FG). Porter continued one of the most impressive freshman seasons in the country with a 16-point outing in Friday’s win. The Missouri native went 6-for-7 from the floor and 3-for-4 from the foul line for 16 points, eight rebounds and a block in the triumph.
N.C. State: G Lorenzo Brown, 6-5 So. (12.7 ppg, 6.4 apg, 4.3 rpg); F C.J. Leslie, 6-8 So. (14.6 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 53.2% FG); F Richard Howell, 6-8 Jr. (10.7 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 49.7% FG). Lorenzo Brown is no longer a national secret. The sophomore went for 17 points, nine rebounds and eight assists and controlled the pace as the Wolfpack advanced past Texas.
Why Each Team Dangerous
Georgetown: There may not have been a more impressive first-round performance than the Hoyas’ over Belmont, especially considering how thoroughly drubbed more talented Georgetown teams took in their past two years’ NCAA opening games. Georgetown shot 61.2 percent from the field and made five of its 12 3s. The Hoyas out-rebounded Belmont 30-22 in the victory. With Sims and Porter improving throughout the season, Georgetown has become a great rebounding and passing team. For the season, Georgetown has a plus-5.8 rebound margin and a 1.08-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio. Defensively, the Hoyas slowed a great 3-point team by limiting the Bruins to 10-of-27 from deep. Opponents this year are connecting on just 27.4 percent of their 3-point attempts.
N.C. State: Behind Georgetown’s win over Belmont on Friday, the Wolfpack’s blowout of San Diego State may have been the second-most impressive performance of the opening round. The Pack shot 58.5 percent from the field, held the SDSU to 23-for-61 shooting and 8-of-23 from 3 and out-rebounded the Aztecs 31-25. For the season, N.C. State assists on 59.3 percent of its baskets. Its 1.25-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio is in the top-25 in the country. The Wolfpack score 73.5 points per game and out-rebound opponents by 4.4 boards per game.
Why Each Team is Vulnerable
Georgetown: About the only negative from Friday was that Belmont had 16 assists and the Hoyas forced just nine turnovers. That could be a bad sign against Brown and the Wolfpack, one of the best passing teams in the country. The Hoyas make just 69.7 from the foul line and were just 9-for-13 on Friday. That could be a bad sign if this is a close game.
N.C. State: Although DeShawn Painter was outstanding off of the Wolfpack bench on Friday, only two N.C. State players came off of the bench for a total of 34 minutes. That’s going to make for some tired Wolfpack players on Sunday and if there’s foul trouble, it could cost them. The Wolfpack turn the ball over 12.7 times per game and only force 12.4 and San Diego State coughed it up just eight times Friday. But the biggest problem for N.C. State has been inconsistency. They’ll have to continue playing like it did Friday to continue to advance.
The Bottom Line: Now that the Hoyas have gotten past their first-round bugaboo, I can envision them in New Orleans in a couple of weeks.
The Pick: Georgetown 64, North Carolina State 55
Greg Against the Spread This Season: 216-165-6 (Through Friday, March 17)
Round of 32 Against the Spread: 19-12-1