NC State vs. Duke Prediction, Odds and Key Players for NCAA Tournament Elite Eight

Mar 29, 2024; Dallas, TX, USA; Duke Blue Devils guard Tyrese Proctor (5) reacts after defeating the
Mar 29, 2024; Dallas, TX, USA; Duke Blue Devils guard Tyrese Proctor (5) reacts after defeating the / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Duke and NC State each upset its higher seeded opponent in the Sweet 16 to get one win away from the Final Four. 

In an All ACC regional final, Duke and NC State meet for the third time in the month of March after splitting the first two games. The Wolfpack have been the story of this tournament, winning five games in five days (including against Duke) to get a bid to the NCAA Tournament and are fresh off a stunning upset over Marquette. However, the team will face a Duke team that is flush with talent and off an upset over No. 1 seed Houston. 

Will Duke end NC State’s ‘Cinderella’ run? Here’s how I’m betting this Elite Eight matchup on Sunday. 

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NC State vs. Duke Odds, Spread and Total

Duke vs. NC State Betting Trends

  • NC State is 11-6-1 against the spread (ATS) as an underdog this season
  • Duke is 20-12 ATS as a favorite this season
  • NC State has gone OVER in 11 of 18 games as an underdog this season
  • Duke has gone UNDER in nine of the last 10 games

NC State vs. Duke How to Watch

  • Date: Sunday, March 31st
  • Game Time: 5:05 PM EST
  • Venue: American Airlines Arena
  • How to Watch (TV): CBS
  • NC State Record: 25-14
  • Duke Record: 27-8

NC State vs. Duke Key Players to Watch

NC State

DJ Burns: Can Duke slow down Burns? The big man wasn’t needed as much against Marquette, who sent two to the ball often in the Sweet 16 win that Burns handled well for the most part. What will the Blue Devils do? The team is a solid post defense lineup, but Burns has shown he can own this frontcourt, scoring 27 points in the loss at home on March 4th. 


Kyle Filipowski: In a rock fight, Filipowski emerged down the stretch to lift Duke over Houston, 54-51. Filipowski had a modest 16 points, but it was an incredibly impactful mark that included a trio of threes and an and-one late to help put the game out of reach. Filipowski was also impactful on the glass, grabbing nine rebounds.

NC State vs. Duke Prediction and Pick

NC State deserves a ton of credit for getting here, but I’d be remiss not to mention that Marquette made only four of its 31 three-point shots in the Wolfpack’s nine-point win on Friday night. 

The Golden Eagles, an above average to elite perimeter offense went cold on the wrong night and it was the difference in the game. Now, against Duke’s elite set of shot makers, I don’t believe the Wolfpack will be as fortunate. 

Duke is 13th in the country in three-point percentage, and if the team is going to get a handful of open looks from beyond the arc like Marquette had, this will be a tough ask for NC State to keep up. 

If you look at the matchup the Wolfpack won back on March 14th in the ACC Tournament, Duke shot 25% from beyond the arc and 57% from the free throw line as NC State made 43% of its three-point attempts. It’s worth noting that the Wolfpack also shot a brutal 55% from the free throw line. 

Kyle Filipowski found a ton of success in this one, scoring 28 points on 13-of-20 shooting and grabbed 14 rebounds, but Jeremy Roach was out of sorts and the wings of Tyrese Proctor and Jared McCain combined to shoot 20% from three-point range. 

I expect a more complete Duke effort in this one and some lingering shooting regression to hit NC State. 

The Blue Devils are in the 96th percentile in spot up offense this season and 92nd in pick-and-roll ball handler offense, per Synergy. With Roach operating out of screens from Filipowski, I expect plenty of open looks inside and out as Duke targets Burns on defense. 

On the other side of the floor, Duke grades out as a very good post defense and may not send any extra defenders at Burns, opting to let him try and win down low. The Blue Devils will out-pace them on the other end with a bevy of threes and handing the Wolfpack some long awaited regression. 

I think Duke wins in style as NC State’s miracle run is probably a game too long to begin with. 

PICK: Duke -6.5

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

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