5 Bold Predictions For No. 1 Villanova vs. No. 8 NC State

By Jerry Landry

5 Bold Predictions For No. 1 Villanova vs. No. 8 NC State

Villanova Wildcats NC State Wolfpack NCAA Tournament 32
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Villanova Wildcats nearly doubled the Lafayette Leopards and were on pace to square the Leopards’ scoreboard total until the end of the game finally intervened. The NC State Wolfpack are more than happy to be here, and could be the most resilient team in the East region after mounting a 14-point comeback over the LSU Tigers. Resolve now meets reputation as a No. 8 takes on a No. 1, and here are five things that'll surface from this showdown.

5. NC State Will Dominate The Boards

NC State Wolfpack Basketball Beejay Anya NCAA Tournament
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

5. NC State Will Dominate The Boards

NC State Wolfpack Basketball Beejay Anya NCAA Tournament
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Wolfpack played an arduous ACC schedule, and Villanova is terrible on the glass. Expect the battle-tested Wolfpack to continue the tough play and not give the Wildcats any extra opportunities to bury three-bombs.

4. NC State Will Go 13-of-15 From The Line

NC State Wolfpack basketball Mark Gottfried head coach
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

4. NC State Will Go 13-of-15 From The Line

NC State Wolfpack basketball Mark Gottfried head coach
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Although not statistically dominant from the stripe over the regular season, I see the Wolfpack playing for keeps and keeping focus from the line. This is NC State’s biggest shot at staying with Villanova, and the Wolfpack will capitalize.

3. Villanova Will Drop 8 Triples In The First Half

Villanova Wildcats Three-Pointers NCAA Tournament
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

3. Villanova Will Drop 8 Triples In The First Half

Villanova Wildcats Three-Pointers NCAA Tournament
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Villanova shoots nearly 40 percent from beyond the arc — as a team! This is like a roving gang of 19-year-old Steve Kerrs all suiting up for the Wildcats. NC State may handle Villanova on the inside, but it’s the perimeter that will definitely get breached.

2. Anthony Barber Will Go For 20

NC State Wolfpack Basketball Anthony Cat Barber
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

2. Anthony Barber Will Go For 20

NC State Wolfpack Basketball Anthony Cat Barber
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

When I first heard that NC State had a “Cat Barber,” my pulse rate erupted. Then I realized this is the moniker attached to sophomore guard Anthony Barber of the Wolfpack. Look for “Cat” Barber to break out and be NC State's answer to Villanova’s maelstrom of an offensive attack.

1. Villanova Wins In A Shootout

Villanova Wildcats NCAA Tournament Mascot Pittsburgh
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

1. Villanova Wins In A Shootout

Villanova Wildcats NCAA Tournament Mascot Pittsburgh
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The outcome of this game depends on Villanova’s shooting and shooting alone. Villanova will live and die by the three, the field goal and the surface tension of the rims. I see the Wildcats scorching the Wolfpack with NBA-like shooting percentage and ensuring victory by beating NC State to 80.

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