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North Carolina Central Eagles – March Madness Team Predictions, Odds and Preview 2017

North Carolina Central Eagles – March Madness Team Predictions, Odds and Preview 2017

North Carolina Central Eagles (Overall: 25-8, Conf: 13-3)

College Basketball News and Previews

Team Strengths:

North Carolina Central can put a run together like any of the true contenders in the tournament. The team had a 13-game winning streak at some point during the regular season, and they even wrapped up their campaign with three-consecutive victories in the MEAC tournament by an average of 23 points en route to winning the conference title.

Led by do-it-all guard Patrick Cole and fellow senior Dejuan Graf, the Eagles have a one-two backcourt combination that can easily stun opponents with some underestimated play from the perimeter.

Team Weaknesses:

Outside of Cole and Graf, no other NC Central player is averaging double digits in scoring. While both of the team’s stars are backcourt standouts, the Eagles also had disappointing marks of 33.3-percent shooting from beyond the arc and 69.3-percent shooting from the free-throw line. And like most mid-major conference winners, the Eagles made the most out of their current season by overcoming a generally mediocre Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference group.

Coaching will, in turn, play a major factor into this Wednesday’s First Four clash against the UC Davis Aggies, and we’ll have to side with the latter in that contest. UC Davis head coach Jim Les has made it to the Sweet 16 round of the tournament with Bradley in 2006, while NCCU’s own LeVelle Moton has only taken his Eagles to one NCAA Tournament appearance and only as far as the second round of the Big Dance at that (2014).

Team Stats:

Points 73.3 163rd
Rebounds 37.8 51st
Assists 13.6 138th
Steals 5.9 197th
Blocks 3.2 173rd
Field goal percentage 45.4 105th
Three-point percentage 33.3 256th
Free throw percentage 69.3 212th
Turnovers 12.2 98th

Starting Lineup:

F Kyle Benton 9.2
F Delvin Dickerson 8.3
G Patrick Cole 19.5
G Dajuan Graf 14.3
G Rashaun Madison 9.8

Writer’s Prediction:

North Carolina Central (+100,000) heads back to Durham with a quick First-Four elimination from the tournament.

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Written by Mark

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