UConn-NC State Women’s Basketball Odds, Prediction & Picks

Eddie Griffin

North Carolina State has been one of the top women’s college basketball programs in the country over the last several years, but the Wolfpack do not yet have a Final Four berth to show for it. To reach that point for only the second time in program history, the Bridgeport Regional’s #1 seed will have to do what they did the last time they were at this point in the NCAA Tournament: beat UConn.

Wes Moore’s Wolfpack have already navigated one big hurdle, as they overcame conference counterpart Notre Dame in the Sweet 16 to reach the Elite Eight for the first time since 1998. Now, they must navigate this hurdle to advance to the Final Four for the first time since doing so that year with Hall of Fame coach Kay Yow.

UConn, the #2 seed in the Bridgeport Regional, hasn’t won a national championship since 2016. And the Huskies are not favored to win this year’s national title, as they come in third behind South Carolina and Stanford, who booked tickets to the Final Four last night with wins over Creighton and Texas, respectively.

But beating them to reach the Final Four, especially when at a disadvantage location-wise, is no small feat, especially when this is an unfamiliar position for NC State.

NC State NCAA Tournament Elissa Cunane Jakia Brown-Turner Aziaha Jones
Can two-time All-American Elissa Cunane (33) lead NC State to the Final Four for the second time in the program’s history?

2022 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Tournament Bridgeport Regional Final: #2 UConn Huskies vs. #1 North Carolina State Wolfpack

Matchup Information

  • Game Matchup: #2 UConn Huskies (28-5) vs. #1 NC State Wolfpack (32-3)
  • Venue & Location: Total Mortgage Arena (Bridgeport, Connecticut)
  • Date: Monday, March 28, 2022
  • Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
  • TV: ESPN

UConn vs. NC State Betting Odds

  • Spread: UConn -4.5 (-110), NC State +4.5 (-110)
  • Total: OVER 130.5 (-112), UNDER 130.5 (-108)
  • Moneyline: UConn -200, NC State +164

Odds are via FanDuel Sportsbook.

Will the Huskies Maintain Run of Elite Eight Excellence?

When NC State and UConn last met in the Elite Eight, the fourth-seeded Wolfpack defeated the second-seeded Huskies 60-52 to win the East Region of the 1998 NCAA Tournament. To date, it is the only time that NC State has reached the Final Four, and prior to this year, the only other time that the program reached the Elite Eight.

To put it mildly, UConn is in a different universe in that area.

Tonight’s game in Bridgeport will mark the 27th Elite Eight appearance for the Huskies under Hall of Fame coach Geno Auriemma. And that loss to NC State 24 years ago has proven to be a pretty rare occurrence.

At the time, the loss dropped Auriemma to 3-3 in the Elite Eight. Since then, his teams are 18-2 in that round, losing only in 2006 and 2007. In 2006, they were the #2 seed in the Bridgeport Regional and lost to #1 Duke by two points in overtime. The next year, they advanced to the Elite Eight as the #1 seed in the Fresno Regional but lost 73-50 to #3 LSU.

While cutting down the nets at the end has been beyond them in recent years, getting to play in one of the season’s final three games has not proven to be, as the Huskies have won 13 straight Elite Eight games since that loss to the Tigers.

In other words, while NC State is the higher seed in this matchup, the odds are not in their favor, and not just the betting odds.

UConn vs. NC State Prediction and Spread & Over/Under Betting Picks

UConn 71, North Carolina State 64 (UConn -4.5 & OVER 130.5)

If NC State is to win this game, one thing that the Wolfpack will have to do is outrebound the Huskies.

This will be their 12th game this season against a ranked opponent, and the rebounding advantage has told the tale in each one. They won all nine games in which they won the rebounding battle and lost all three in which they lost it. That includes wins over top-ten foes Maryland (#2 at the time), Louisville (#3 at the time), and Indiana (#6 at the time), and Saturday’s thrilling come-from-behind win over Notre Dame.

UConn lost games against Louisville and Oregon in which they had an advantage on the boards, and the numbers were even in their loss to Georgia Tech. But the Huskies are more likely to win if they have an advantage and more likely to be in trouble if they don’t.

Against #7 seed UCF in the second round, they were outrebounded by six, and they had to withstand a fourth-quarter rally to record a 52-47 win. But in the 75-58 Sweet 16 win over #3 seed Indiana, UConn owned the boards, outrebounding by the Hoosiers by a dozen, with Olivia Nelson-Ododa posting 10 points and 14 rebounds and Aaliyah Edwards grabbing ten boards to go with her nine points.

NC State has had a great season, winning the program’s first ACC regular season title since 1990, winning the ACC Tournament for the third straight year, earning a #1 seed for the second straight tournament, and making a long-awaited Elite Eight appearance. But this will be where the ride ends for the Wolfpack, as UConn will win its 14th consecutive regional final.

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