First Four: No. 16 North Carolina Central vs. No. 16 UC Davis Prediction, Game Preview

    North Carolina Central vs. UC Davis prediction and game preview, as the No. 16 Eagles and No. 16 Aggies face off in the NCAA Tournament.


    North Carolina Central vs. UC Davis prediction and game preview, as the No. 16 Eagles and No. 16 Aggies face off in the NCAA Tournament.


    On Tuesday, we’ll have our first look at the First Four, and one of the matchups to watch will be North Carolina Central going up against UC Davis.

    The Eagles are coming into this game having gone 25-8 in the regular season, and the Aggies are on the other end sporting a 22-12 record.

    Below is a complete preview and prediction for North Carolina Central vs. UC Davis.

    North Carolina Central vs. UC Davis Game Preview

    Date: March 16, 2017
    Time: 6:40 p.m. ET
    Venue:  University of Dayton Arena, Dayton, Ohio
    Region: 
    Midwest

    North Carolina Central Strengths

    MEAC player of the year Patrick Cole is a score-first guard averaging 19.5 points per game, but that doesn’t mean he’s one-dimensional. Cole also adds an average of 7.0 rebounds and ranks among the national leaders with 5.7 assists per game. Cole and 6-foot guard Dajuan Graf, who averages 14.3 points and 5.2 assists, form a dangerous backcourt duo that will be tough to stop.

    North Carolina Central Weaknesses

    The Eagles can go cold in a hurry. They lost back-to-back games prior to the conference tournament because of their inconsistent shooting and survived in the title game despite shooting below 40 percent. They’re going to need to heat up if they plan to pull off an upset and advance.

    NC Central In-Depth Analysis

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    UC Davis Strengths

    UC Davis plays bigger than their height would indicate. No starter is taller than 6-foot-7 forward J.T. Adenrele, yet it held a plus-1.4 rebounding advantage per game. The Aggies are able to that versatility for an inside-out game with guard Brynton Lemar leading the way at 16.1 points per game. They don’t score a lot of points but also don’t allow many, holding their last three opponents to fewer than 65.

    UC Davis Weaknesses

    The Aggies head into the Tournament having shot worse than 40 percent in four straight games, something that seems tough to believe having a coach in Jim Les who was known as a sharpshooter during his playing days. UC Davis is going to need better shooting if it wants to pull off a first-round upset.

    UC Davis In-Depth Analysis

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    North Carolina Central vs. UC Davis By The Numbers

    North Carolina Central Statistics

    Scoring Margin: 11.7 (14th Nationally)
    Rebounding Margin: 2.9 (90)
    Turnover Margin: 1.8 (64)
    3-Point FG Percentage: 24.0% (224)

    UC Davis Statistics

    Scoring Margin: 1.6 (169)
    Rebounding Margin: 1.4 (140)
    Turnover Margin: 0 (179)
    3-Point FG Percentage: 35.4% (157)

    North Carolina Central vs. UC Davis Prediction

    This one will be a nail-biter. The Aggies have gone cold from the field as of late, and they’ll be streaky as this game wages on. However, the Eagles have had their shooting woes as well, and UC Davis will end up catching fire in the second half to sneak out a win and advance.

    North Carolina Central vs. UC Davis Score Prediction: UC Davis 75, North Carolina Central 72

    MORE: Complete NCAA Tournament Bracket, Previews, Predictions

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