We’re going to be previewing the second round game in the South Region between Davidson & Iowa. How will both of these teams recover following blowout upset losses in their conference tournaments?
Davidson versus Iowa in a South Regional Second Round Clash
The #7 seed Iowa Hawkeyes (21-11) squares off against the #10 seed Davidson Wildcats (24-7) on Friday at 7:20 PM ET. This is a second round contest in the South Regional that’s being played at Seattle, Washington. The winner will advance to play either Gonzaga or North Dakota State on Sunday. According to the NCAA Tournament betting odds at Pinnacle, Iowa is a 2.0 point favorite, and the posted total is 145.5.
Wildcats need their Swagger Back
The Davidson Wildcats finished first in the Atlantic 10 regular season standings with a 14-4 record. They entered the conference tournament by going a perfect 9-0 SU&ATS in their last nine regular season contests, and won by an average of 16.0 points per game. They barely squeaked by LaSalle 67-66 in the quarterfinals of their conference tournament, and failed to cover as a 9.5 point favorite. Then their ten game winning streak came to a screeching halt in the semifinals where the Wildcats were lambasted 93-73 by VCU. Needless to say, their character and confidence level will be tested on Friday against a physical Big 10 opponent.
Focal Points for “The Dance”
One area that Davidson can hang their hat on in the NCAA Tournament is their three-point shooting. The Wildcats average eleven three-point makes per game, and have shot a sizzling 39.7% from long distance on the year. A major concern heading into “The Big Dance” has been their defensive play of late. They’ve given up 79.0 points per game, and allowed opponents to shoot a robust 48.9% from the field during their last three contests.
Dominate Defense and Rebounding of Late
Similar to their second round opponent, Iowa saw their five game win streak come to an abrupt halt in the Big 10 Quarterfinals. The Hawkeyes were upset by Penn State 67-58 as an 8.5 point favorite. On a positive note, Iowa enters the NCAA Tournament having held their previous seven opponents to less than 40% shooting from the field. The Hawkeyes are also a dominating team on the glass, evidenced by a +5 rebound per game differential on the year, and are an even better +11.3 in its previous three games. All three of those past three contests went under the total with an average of 128.7 points combined scored.
This will be an interesting clash of styles. Davidson is more of a finesse team that relies heavily on their perimeter shooting. Iowa is physical and should have a huge edge on the boards in this contest. The Hawkeyes are also locked in defensively over the past few weeks. I’m going to give the slightest of leans in this contest to the small favorite for one of my NCAA tournament picks.
Free NCAA Tournament Pick: Play on Iowa -2.0 over Davidson at Pinnacle.