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Battle 4 Atlantis day 2: NC State vs. Northern Iowa

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NCAA Basketball: Battle 4 Atlantis-North Carolina State vs Arizona Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Hey, everybody, hope the holiday is going well. NC State is back at it this afternoon—and in the winner’s bracket!—against Northern Iowa. The winner of this contest will face Villanova at noon on Friday in the title game, while the loser will play Tennessee at 2:30 p.m. Friday. Let’s not play in that third-place game, okay?

State-UNI is pretty much a toss up (KenPom has State by one) and I would absolutely expect a tight one because the Panthers do a few things really well. They shoot a lot of threes and they make them at a high rate, too.

But the Panthers are also turnover-prone, and its defense rarely forces them. We might see Kevin Keatts hit the ol’ PRESS button (totally real thing) a little more heavily in this one. Keatts kept the pressure fairly light (by his standards) against Arizona so that the Wolfpack would be better positioned in the half court and not concede a zillion layups. Understandably, Keatts was concerned about Arizona’s super-quick point guard.

Now though? We’ll see.

Tip time: 3 p.m. ET

TV: ESPN2

Internet stream: WatchESPN