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(6) San Diego State vs. (11) N.C. State Preview
Posted By Yannis Koutroupis On March 11, 2012 @ 6:30 pm In All,NCAA | No Comments
(6) San Diego State Aztecs
Even with the loss of Kawhi Leonard and Malcolm Thomas, the leading scorers and rebounders from last year’s historic team, the Aztecs managed to surpass the 20-win plateau and earn a spot in the Top 25. Sophomore Jamaal Franklin and junior Chase Tapley have really responded well to expanded roles. They will be the leaders as the Aztecs look to make it two years in a row with tournament victories after never winning any games prior to last year. This team wins games with their defense, which does not consist of much gambling or risk taking. They score a modest 70 points a game, largely looking to attack rather than launching from long range. They’re one of the worst three-point shooting teams in the field, which is something that opposing defenses will look to exploit. The Aztecs were an even 5-5 against teams in the RPI Top 50.
(11)North Carolina State Wolfpack
On the fast track to the NIT, the Wolfpack won four of their last five games and played North Carolina extremely tough in the ACC conference tournament semifinals to make their return to the tournament for the first time since 2006. In their first year under head coach Mark Gottfried, the Wolfpack went 0-6 against the RPI Top 25 and 4-8 total against the RPI Top 75. Sophomore forward C.J. Leslie is a stud who can be unstoppable when he puts his mind to it. He put up 14 points and seven rebounds a game during the regular season. Leslie has to be on the floor for the Wolfpack, who are a Top 20 team in the nation in assists with 16 a game, to be successful. The entire starting lineup averages double figures, making it tough for teams to focus in solely on Leslie. The Wolfpack give up 68 points a night on 41 percent shooting from the field and 34 percent from deep. They’ve faced stiff competition throughout the year, which will serve them well in the big dance.
HOOPSWORLD’s pick: N.C. State. The Wolfpack looked great during the ACC Tournament and should be able to ride a great effort from C.J. Leslie to the Round of 32.
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