Add Virginia -6 To Your NCAA Tournament Picks Against Iowa State

Joe Gavazzi

Friday, March 25, 2016 1:14 PM UTC

Friday, Mar. 25, 2016 1:14 PM UTC

No. 4 seeded, Iowa St., meets No. 1 seeded, Virginia, at the United Center in Chicago, IL.  It is oddly enough a regional advantage for NCAA Tournament odds underdog Iowa St., who figures to have greater fan support.

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Iowa St. vs. Virginia (-5) 7:00 ET CBS TV
Of this year’s 8 games in the Sweet 16, there is no other that will have a greater stylistic clash than this matchup.

Taking full advantage of this year’s rule changes, Iowa St. has excelled at the 94’ game.  Virginia, conversely, had no issue making the adjustment to the changes.  Again, the Cavs use a patient style that has fewer offensive possessions than virtually anyone else in the country, yet is greatly efficient.  Combined with their Top 3 defense, you will see 2 teams with a diverse approach to the game.  As is always the case in such contests, I will favor the clearly better defensive team with the greater fundamentals.


Iowa State Cyclones
Under 1st year HC Steve Prohm (Murray St.), Iowa St. enters battle-tested tough, after 2 months of Big 12 wars.  The regular season ended for the Cyclones with an (85-78) loss to Kansas.  That was followed by a (79-76) 1st Round CCT loss to Oklahoma.  They then had the advantage of playing a like-minded Iona team in Round 1 and sprinted to a 94-81 win and cover against a Gaels team, who simply did not feature as many quality athletes with as much experience.  Iowa St. then had the good fortune to face an Arkansas-L.R. team, who was emotionally drained following their double digit comeback win in double OT against the physically demanding Purdue Boilermakers.  That win in no way prepares them for what they are about to face today.   One must give Iowa St. their due with an explosive offense led by weapons such as Niang, Morris, Thomas and McKay that average 82 PPG on 50% shooting, knocking down 8.4% of their triples at 39%.  There are solid fundamentals, except for their negative rebound margin.  That could be most telling in today’s NCAA Tournament game.


Virginia Cavaliers
For, Virginia is 2nd only to N. Carolina to fundamental strength with an (11.3) 3* fundamental rating which includes turning the ball over only 9.3 times per game (part of their offensive efficiency).  The Cavs shoot 49% from the field, 40% from the arc and convert 75% from the stripe.  Credit much of that offensive efficiency to the strong guard tandem of Brogdon and Perrantes with Gill on the interior.  But as anyone realizes, who has watched Virginia play, it is their pack-line defense that is their calling card.  Virginia allows just 59 PPG with a defense that packs the paint, then sprints to the 3-point line to shut down perimeter marksmen.  There was little challenge in their 36 point win vs. Hampton, but it was on full display while dispatching a quality Butler team (77-69) in the Round of 32. 


Betting Analysis
We will gladly lineup with the superior defensive team, who has the better fundamentals and a notable edge on the pine with 7th year HC Tony Bennett.  I invite you to put the NCAA Tournament odds in your favor and join me in my NCAA Tournament picks on Virginia tonight.

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Free NCAA Tournament Pick: Virginia -6
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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