Expect 5-12 Upset In Iowa State-Nevada? Nope

nevada basketball

Monday, March 13, 2017 8:21 PM GMT

Two high-flying offenses collide when No. 5 Iowa State and No. 12 Nevada tip off in the Midwest Region in Milwaukee Thursday. The 5-12 pairing is madness in recent years. Will there be an upset in this matchup?

No. 5 Iowa State vs. No. 12 Nevada

Midwest Region, Milwaukee, Thursday, 8:57 p.m. ET

NAT TV: truTV

Bettors will not be shocked to see an upset in the opening game of the Midwest Region between No. 5 Iowa State and No. 12 Nevada on Thursday. Historically, this pairing produces the best money line value for underdogs in round one. Since 2001, 5 seeds are only 36-28 SU (28-35-1 ATS) overall, with the record split 8-8 SU over the past four tourneys. In fact, a 12 seed has upset a 5 at least once in 18 of the last 21 dances.

Both teams enter red-hot in having won their conference tournaments. Iowa State, which makes its sixth straight NCAA Tournament appearance, won the Big 12 championship for the third time in four years after upsetting West Virginia 80-74 on Saturday. Oddsmakers listed the Cyclones at +850 odds to claim the crown prior to the title run. Head coach Steve Prohm’s squad is firing on all cylinders offensively, shooting over 45 percent from the 3-point area since Feb. 1. It is averaging 81.7 points per game over its last 12.

Nevada, meanwhile, is also all offense all of the time, posting 80.0 points per game. Like Iowa State, the Wolf Pack offense is efficient and deadly from deep. Kenpom rates Nevada No. 34 in adjusted offensive efficiency, and it shoots 38.5 percent from behind the arc. The Wolf Pack are 9-0 SU and ATS in their last nine, holding off Colorado State in the Mountain West title game 79-71 as 5.5-point chalk.

The Wolfpack have played one ranked opponent all year, losing the season opener 81-63 at then-No. 19 St. Mary’s. The AP ranked Iowa State No. 23 prior to its championship run. NBA prospect sophomore Cameron Oliver, a 6-foot-8 forward, leads the Mountain West representatives with 15.8 points and 8.7 rebounds per game.

Oliver’s talent, however, may not be enough to overcome the Cyclones’ senior trio of Matt Thomas, Monte Morris, and Naz Mitrou-Long. They’ve experienced the pain of a shocking first-round loss, falling to No. 14 UAB two years ago, and will not let it happen again. Extra motivation will come playing in Milwaukee as well, a homecoming for the dynamic Deonte Burton, Darrell Bowie and Donovan Jackson.

Since head coach Eric Musselman took over the Pack last season, they are 0-7 SU and 1-6 ATS as a dog of 5.5 points or more, failing to cover by 6.1 points per contest. They average just 63.6 points per game in this spot, scoring 70 or more once. Iowa State is a matchup nightmare, even for the nation’s elite teams, and its athleticism will stymie Nevada. Look for the Cyclones to win by double digits.

NCAAB Free Pick: Iowa State -6Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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