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College Basketball East Carolina at N.C. State

December 17, 2008

College Basketball Betting - East Carolina Pirates at N.C. State Wolfpack (Wednesday 7:00 PM ET)

East Carolina has been one of the bigger surprises in college basketball this season. The Pirates are a young team but they have gelled together quickly and their biggest reason for success has been balance.

Sam Hinnant, who leads the Pirates with 17.4 ppg is getting scoring help from fellow senior guard James Legan (15.3 ppg), freshman forward Darrius Morrow (10.8), sophomore point guard Brock Young (9.8) and sophomore center Chad Wynn (9.1). Young leads the nation with 8.6 apg.

The Wolfpack come in with a stellar 5-1 record but they have not faced any real competition with the exception of Davidson, which resulted in their lone loss. Injuries are already taking their toll on NC State.

Farnold Degand, penciled in as the starting point guard, has played just 17 minutes while coming back slower than expected from major knee surgery.

Second leading scorer Courtney Fells missed the last game and is questionable as is third leading scorer Brandon Costner who got a head injury last game.

The Pirates sole stumble came in a hard-fought, 77-71 loss to George Mason while the wins have included road victories at NC-Wilmington, where they hadn't won since 1991, and at Winthrop as well as a home win over VCU.

NC State holds a 17-1 advantage in the all-time series between the schools but that matters none considering that the Pirates lone victory came last season.

It is revenge time but these teams are matched up very well and that should not even come into play.

East Carolina falls into a very solid situation based on its last performance. Play on underdogs of 10 to 19.5 points that are coming off a win by 30 points or more going up against an opponent after scoring 40 points or more in the first half in two straight games.

This situation is 28-6 ATS (82.4 percent) since 1997. NC State has been money burners of late, going 7-22-1 ATS in its last 30 games overall dating back to last season and 4-9 ATS in its last 13 non-conference games.

Pick: East Carolina +9 (-110) available at

- Matt Fargo

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