Texas Tech vs. NC State NCAA Tournament Round 1: How to watch, odds and predictions for March Madness

Here is what you need to know to take in the Texas Tech Red Raiders' first-round game against NC State in the NCAA Tournament.

BYU v Texas Tech
BYU v Texas Tech / Jay Biggerstaff/GettyImages

The Texas Tech Red Raiders are one day away from taking on NC State in the NCAA Tournament's first round. It marks the 20th all-time appearance in the NCAA Tournament for the program.

One factor that might help the Red Raiders perform well is that this isn't the first NCAA Tournament action for several key members of the team. Guards Joe Toussaint and Chance McMillian and forward Warren Washington were part of last year's tournament while playing for other schools. Meanwhile, Kerwin Walton appeared in three total NCAA Tournament games for North Carolina in 2021 and 2022.

On the other hand, this will be the first time players like Pop Isaacs, Robert Jennings, Eemile Yalaho. and Lamar Washington have had a taste of March Madness. How they perform in their maiden voyages through the tournament will be fascinating to see.

So as we wait for Thursday night to arrive, let's take a look at the broadcast information, odds, and a prediction for this fascinating matchup.

How to watch Team vs. Team in the NCAA Tournament Round 1

Matchup: NC State (22-14, 9-11 ACC) vs. Texas Tech (23-10, 11-7)
Location: Pittsburgh
Venue: PPG Paints Arena
Tip: 8:40 p.m. (CST), Thursday, March 21, 2024
TV Announcers: Andrew Catalon (play-by-play), Steve Lappas (analyst), Evan Washburn (reporter)
National Radio - Westwood One: Scott Graham (play-by-play), Jordan Cornette (analyst)
Local Radio - Texas Tech Sports Network: Geoff Haxton (play-by-play), Chris Level (analyst)

Team vs. Team NCAA Tournament Round 1 odds

Texas Tech vs. NC State NCAA Tournament Round 1 prediction

What a tough game this is to pick. These two teams are each playing excellent basketball heading into this matchup with NC State having won its last five games (all in the ACC Tournament) and Tech having won four of its last five.

Still, tons of unknowns could tip the scales here. For instance, will NC State be fully recovered after playing five games in five days last week and going all-out to win their conference's automatic bid? Also, does NC State play with the same hunger this week or did their magical run last week make them feel a sense of accomplishment given that they won the ACC Tournament championship?

Then there is the health of the Red Raiders. We expect Darrion Williams to play but will he be 100% after spraining his ankle last Thursday against BYU? Of course, Warren Washington will be a game-time decision again. If he plays for the first time in almost a month, how effective will he be and what will Tech get out of him?

On the court, the numbers suggest that Tech is the better team. Tech is ranked 25th in the KenPom.com rankings while NC State checks in at No. 57. What's more, KenPom.com shows Tech to be better offensively and defensively.

Tech is ranked No. 25 in adjusted offensive efficiency (an estimate of the number of points a team scores per 100 possessions) and No. 48 in adjusted defensive efficiency (the number of points a team allows per 100 possessions. Meanwhile, NC State checks in at No. 47 and No. 91 respectively in those two categories.

In the end, I think NC State will revert back to being closer to the team they were in the regular season when they were just 17-14. Also, the Wolfpack can be a distracted and uninterested defensive squad at times.

They aren't especially great at playing defense in the back court or rebounding, two things that have given Tech problems this year. So I think the Red Raiders will find a groove and pull out a win.

Final Score: Texas Tech 82 - NC State 77