Free NCAA Tournament Picks: #11 NC State vs. #2 Kansas 3/23/12

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Another of the upstarts of the NCAA Tournament, the NC State Wolfpack, are going to be squaring off on the Sweet 16 odds on Friday night in St. Louis, when they take on the Kansas Jayhawks.

Sweet 16 Matchup: #11 NC State Wolfpack vs. #2 Kansas Jayhawks
Date: Friday, March 23rd, 10:15 ET
Location: Scottrade Arena, St. Louis, MO
Sweet 16 Odds: Kansas -8
NCAA Tournament TV Schedule: TBS

The Wolfpack and the Jayhawks are both here in the Sweet 16, and they have both had shaky starts to the dance. Kansas hasn’t had to face a team thus far in the tourney that has had better than a No. 10 seed, and the possibility is that it could get all the way to the Final Four without facing a single digit team. NC State has been a bit of the upstart, but even though it is a No. 11 seed, the team was favored against the No. 6 San Diego State Aztecs, and it was considered by many every bit as good as the No. 3 Georgetown Hoyas. This is really the first game that it is going to face in which it is expected to get beaten by the majority of the college basketball betting fans.

CJ Leslie has really reshaped his career, and he could be well on his way to greatness if he can get the Wolfpack into the Elite 8. The much trouble forward still has a tremendous amount of talent, and he is averaging 14.6 points and 7.4 boards per game. He is also good for almost a block and a half and over a steal per game to boot. Scott Wood is a sharpshooter that can literally trump any team in America with his long range shooting, and here in the tourney, that’s what it takes to be able to beat some of the big boys like these Jayhawks.

It hasn’t always been pretty for the Jayhawks, but they have found ways to get the job done down the stretch of games here in the dance. They were able to get huge contributions from Elijah Johnson to beat the Purdue Boilermakers over the weekend, and though neither Thomas Robinson nor Tyshawn Taylor have lived up to their potential thus far in the dance, both have been serviceable and could be Final Four stars if the Jayhawks make it that far. KU shoots the ball quite well at 48.0 percent as a team, and as long as that keeps up and there are some shots that are falling from the outside as well, the Jayhawks should be in good shape.

Here is what really concerns us. This point spread has been right around eight all week long, yet almost two thirds of the bets that are coming in are doing so on the Wolfpack. That’s very, very odd, especially this time of year, and though there aren’t many times when you can say that the favorite is “sharp,” we do think that this is one of these times. This is going to be a decided home court advantage for the Jayhawks, and we think that they are going to just blast and NC State team that, at times this year, has been absolutely atrocious both at home and on the road.

Sweet 16 Free Pick: Kansas Jayhawks -8

Wisconsin vs. Syracuse Projected Final Score: Kansas 90 – NC State 73

Lou Palumbo is the founder and part owner of the Sports Handicapping Community. He's been writing and posting free picks and sports handicapping strategies on the Cappersinfo forums and website for 15 years now. He enjoys handicapping just as much as he did from the very first day he built the original Cappersinfo website.

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