Bet UConn +1.5 vs. Iowa State

Jeff Grant

Monday, March 24, 2014 2:27 PM GMT

The Connecticut Huskies love playing inside Madison Square Garden, which could be the difference in advancing past the Iowa State Cyclones in the 2014 NCAA Tournament. Join us as we preview this matchup and decide where to lean with our NCAA Basketball picks.

Let’s take a closer look at the college basketball odds for this Sweet 16 matchup in the East Region, with the opening tip scheduled for 7:27 p.m. ET on TBS.

 

Digging deep
Iowa State has played a lot of basketball this month, as it advanced past North Carolina Central and North Carolina to reach this stage—coming directly after winning a Big 12 Conference tournament championship.

The Cyclones played their last game without the services of starting forward George Niang, who is out for the rest of the Big Dance after suffering a foot injury in the Round of 64.  

It’s important to point out that the program is 9-0 SU and 6-2-1 ATS on a neutral floor during the 2013-14 campaign.

 

Relishing the postseason
Connecticut has made a name for itself in March, as it improved its record to 54-29 SU in 32 NCAA Tournament appearances—moving past Saint Joseph’s and Villanova in its first two games this year.

The Huskies are 12-5 SU and 8-9 ATS when playing in a tournament format the last two-plus seasons, with the UNDEr going 9-8 in that situation.

College basketball handicappers will find that the team has covered the number in four of its last five games versus Big 12 Conference opponents.

 

Efficient offense
The Cyclones have been one of the top offensive teams in the country all season, which is clearly evident in the fact that they’ve had more assists than turnovers in all but two games this season.

Iowa State has also made 10 or more three-pointers 13 times this season, while posting a 21-2 SU record when scoring 80 or more points.

 

Napier
There’s no question that the Huskies will need a huge game out of point guard Shabazz Napier if they plan on advancing to the Elite 8, as he paces the squad in points, rebounds, assists and steals. 

Napier will be facing off against Iowa State’s DeAndre Kane—a matchup that figures to be one of the best in the entire event.

[gameodds]14/262647/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds] 

Prediction
I’m going to recommend that readers back the Huskies as one of their college basketball picks, as they’ve gone 8-2 ATS in their last 10 opportunities as neutral court underdogs of three or fewer points. 

NCAA Basketball Pick:  Connecticut Huskies +1.5