NC State Wolfpack vs. Syracuse Orange Pick & Prediction FEBRUARY 20th 2024

North Carolina State plays host to Syracuse on Tuesday night in an Atlantic Coast Conference game at Raleigh, N.C., that has implications for both schools’ postseason chances.

NC State (16-9, 8-6 ACC) scraped past Clemson 78-77 on Saturday to keep the Wolfpack’s NCAA Tournament hopes alive. NC State’s DJ Horne made a one-handed floater in the key for the game-winner with 9.8 seconds left.

Syracuse (16-10, 7-8) is coming off a 65-60 road loss to Georgia Tech on Saturday in Atlanta in which the Orange shot just 4 of 25 from 3-point range.

With the win over Clemson — their first Quad-1 win of the season — NC State moved up to No. 76 in the NET rankings used as a baseline to set the NCAA Tournament field.

“We’re sticking to one game at a time,” Wolfpack coach Kevin Keatts said. “I know a lot of people look at it as a sprint. For us, it’s a marathon and this team doesn’t need anybody to believe in them but the guys in the locker room.”

Horne, a shooting guard who transferred from Arizona State to his hometown of Raleigh to play as a graduate student for the Wolfpack, is on a streak of five games with 24 or more points. He leads the team by averaging 17.2 points per game.

DJ Burns (12.0 ppg), Casey Morsell (11.6) and Jayden Taylor (11.3) support Horne in the Wolfpack’s attack.

The Orange is just 1-5 when it makes four or less 3-pointers, as it did against Georgia Tech.

“The shots just didn’t fall,” Syracuse coach Adrian Autry said. “We all know it’s a make-and-miss game and we didn’t shoot the ball well.”

Autry’s top scorers are all sophomores, led by guard Judah Mintz at 18.3 points per game, JJ Starling (13.7) and Chris Bell (11.2). Maliq Brown, a 6-foot-8, 222-pound forward, does the dirty work inside for Syracuse with 9.2 points and 6.8 rebounds per game.

–Field Level Media

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