Hollywood Sports 25* NCAA TOURNEY GAME OF THE YEAR: Frank Sawyer's Hollywood Sports is on a SCORCHING HOT 22-9 (71%) TOURNEY TEAR which is reminiscent of his EPIC 20-4 (83%) March 2010 run! Frank owns a SENSATIONAL 30-14 (68%) clip with his highest-rated 25* plays in the Big Dance since 2010 & his 25* NCAA Tournament Game of the Year tips Friday afternoon. DO NOT MISS IT!
Game: N.C. State at San Diego State Mar 16 2012 12:40PM
Prediction: N.C. State
Grade: Winner (100)
Reason: At 12:40 PM EST on Friday, we will be playing the North Carolina State Wolfpack minus the points versus the San Diego State Aztecs in the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament. San Diego State (26-7) offers us a number of intangibles that we like to play against this time of year. First, the Aztecs were an extremely fortunate 11-2 in games decided to five points or less or in the overtime period this season. Teams tend to break even in close games like that -- so Steve Fisher's club looks to have the beneficiary of some good luck during these games. The deeper metrics bear this out. San Diego State tied with New Mexico with a 10-4 mark to tie for first place in the Mountain West Conference. But the Aztecs' net Efficiency Margin of +0.05 Points-Per-Possession in conference play (Offensive PPP: 1.02; Defensive PPP: 0.97) was third best in the MWC and not a figure that indicates an elite level of play. This San Diego State team looked like it overachieved this season which is not a surprise given the fact that they replaced four senior starters from last year's 34-3 team. Is this team satisfied to have already achieved so much? There are some flaws with this team. They lack size and are not very deep. They are also not nearly as potent offense as they were last season given their effective field goal percentage* of 48.5% which was just 7th best in the Mountain West. Then consider that the fact that the Aztecs have to travel east to play this game in Columbus, Ohio -- and that they will be playing in an opening afternoon game. It will feel like a 9:40 AM tip to the San Diego State players which is what makes the travel east difficult.
North Carolina State (22-12) really began to embrace first-year head coach Mark Gottfried's system and expectations in the stretch drive of the season. Gottfried inherited a very talented team assembled by Sydney Lowe -- but these players were too loose under Lowe and needed to be reined in. The Wolfpack raised their level of play to close their season by winning four games in a row before narrowly losing to North Carolina by a 69-67 score as a 9.5-point favorite. We look for the Wolfpack to build off their momentum as they are 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 games after a point spread victory. It is interesting to note that 1/3 of their losses this season were to teams now seeded #1 in their region (three losses to UNC, one loss to Syracuse). Talent was never the issue with this team but Gottfried seems to have them going now. It is questionable as to who from the Aztecs will be able to stop 6'8" super-sophomore C.J. Leslie. This club has nice balance with all five starters averaging double-digit points. Depth is a concern for NC State as they only go seven-deep -- but the San Diego State has a similarly limited bench. The Wolfpack's size will be a factor here. They pulled down 34.4% of their missed shots in conference play which was second best in the ACC. The Aztecs saw their opponents rebound 27.4% of their missed shots in conference action which was 4th best in the league. NC State is now 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 games against teams with a winning record. The Wolfpack have covered 5 straight games played on a neutral court. And in their last 5 games against non-conference opponents, NC State has covered the spread in 4 of these games. Together, these team trends produce our specific 15-1-2 ATS combined winning angle for this situation. With the NCAA committee giving the Aztecs a couple tough scheduling breaks and with Fisher's team being a bit overvalued, we will jump all over an NC State team that has momentum and is peaking at just the right time. 25* CBB NCAA Tournament Game of the Year with the North Carolina State Wolfpack minus the points versus the San Diego State Aztecs. Best of luck for us -- Frank.
Second Round NCAA Tournament Update: Our 25* NCAA Tournament Game of the Year is already posted -- it tips Friday afternoon. For Thursday's games, we look to have 3-5 games for the afternoon with another 3-5 games for the evening -- with Afternoon and Evening Triple Feature packages likely. All of these games should be posted by late this evening. Friday looks to be a little lighter in games but it still looks 1-3 afternoon games and then another 3-5 for the evening. The majority of those games will be posted tomorrow. Please remember that we can only post three packages at a time per day per sport here at Vegas Experts. As soon as a game/package goes off the board, I will post then the next package for the day -- so keep checking-in as I work these games very hard looking for value. Thanks, Frank.