Georgia Tech vs. NC State Prediction, Game Preview

    Georgia Tech vs. NC State prediction and game preview. The Yellow Jackets look to win their fourth game in their last five tries, while the Wolfpack look to finish strong to close out the Mark Gottfried era.

    February 20, 2017

    Georgia Tech vs. NC State prediction and game preview. The Yellow Jackets look to win their fourth game in their last five tries, while the Wolfpack look to finish strong to close out the Mark Gottfried era.


    Georgia Tech vs. NC State Game Preview

    When: Tuesday, Feb. 21 – 8 p.m. ET
    Where: McCamish Pavilion, Atlanta, GA
    TV Broadcast: ACC Network

    Josh Pastner and the Yellow Jackets (16-11, 7-7 ACC) kept their NCAA Tournament hopes alive on Sunday night with a 71-65 victory at home against Syracuse. Ben Lammers scored 23 points, Tadric Jackson added 20 and GT held off a late Orange surge after Jim Boeheim’s team faced a 13-point deficit.

    Meanwhile, Mark Gottfried and the Wolfpack (14-14, 3-12) lost their seventh straight game on Saturday, dropping an 81-72 decision to Notre Dame at home. Fighting Irish forward V.J. Beachem scored 27 points and hit a career-high seven 3-pointers. It was the Wolfpack’s first game since the announcement that Gottfried is out after the season.

    When these teams met in Raleigh back in mid-January, GT freshman Josh Okogie scored 27 points and Lammers had 11 rebounds. Star freshman guard Dennis Smith Jr. had 31 points, eight rebounds and six assists for the Wolfpack.

    Georgia Tech Wins If …

    … Lammers dominates on both ends of the floor. The 6-foot-10 junior center played all 40 minutes against Syracuse for the second straight game, and the nation’s third-leading shot blocker went 11 of 18 from the field, had seven rebounds, a career-high three steals and seven blocked shots—which was one short of the school record in an ACC game. Without his presence all season, GT would be nowhere near its flirtation with an NCAA bid.

    GT managed to turn the ball over just 11 times while recording 24 assists on 31 baskets in the previous meeting between these teams. Pastner knows his team will be able to play faster as he moves further along in his rebuild. Right now, though, the Jackets need to just be crisp offensively because they have little room for error.

    NC State Wins If …

    … Smith Jr. performs like the best player on the court. Georgia Tech has a sound defense, but Smith needs to lead the way if the ‘Pack have any chance of breaking this long skid. Senior guard Terry Henderson also needs to break out of his severe funk to take pressure off of Smith.

    Despite playing for a head coach who is finishing out the remaining days of his tenure, the Wolfpack showed fight in coming back from a 23-point deficit to make it close against the Irish. That did not occur in the team’s five losses by at least 24 points in 2016-17. If the ‘Pack continue to play hard for Gottfried, they should be able to claim a few wins down the stretch and make things tough for ACC foes.

    Matchup To Watch

    Quinton Stephens vs. Henderson

    In the first meeting with the Wolfpack, Stephens matched his career high with 22 points for the Yellow Jackets. The senior forward has only hit double figures four times since, but he is an X-Factor for Georgia Tech because he is capable of a breakout game. He has the ability to stretch defenses because he is a threat from downtown. A nice effort from him would help GT out, especially if Okogie and the other guards are having an off night.

    Betting Odds

    Spread: Georgia Tech -5
    Over/Under: No line as of post

    Georgia Tech vs. NC State Prediction

    The Yellow Jackets are 6-1 at home in league play, and McCamish Pavilion will help deliver yet another victory behind a balanced offense and sound defense despite Smith Jr. having a strong game.

    Georgia Tech vs. NC State final score prediction: Georgia Tech 67, NC State 63

    MORE: Livin’ B1G: Pursuit Of The Double Bye

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