Iona vs. Iowa State: Unreal Tempo Makes 'Over' Our Tournament Pick

Charles Stark

Thursday, March 17, 2016 12:10 PM GMT

The Big 12 was an amazing conference this season and tonight one of the better teams looks to make some noise in the NCAA tournament. Iowa State takes on Iona. Let's check the odds.

NCAA basketball odds makers have come out with a really high total of 166.5 like at Bookmaker -110. For one of my NCAA tournament picks I'm going to back over the total in this spot as this game is going to be an absolute track meet from the very tip. Both teams run at a fast pace, can score, and don't play great on the defensive end. This will arguably be the most entertaining game of the day.

 

Iona Gaels
Iona ranks 26th in the country averaging 79.6 points per game and are on an eight game winning streak. The Gaels have been the preeminent team in the MAAC and can flat-out score the basketball. Although their conference is not nearly as good as the Big 12 this is a talented team that can put up points. They can shoot the ball from distance averaging 26.9 three point attempts per game and making 10 per game which ranks ninth in the country for the 37.2% average. Tonight they get to face an Iowa State team that likes to get up-tempo just like they have been doing all season. Defensively I think they're going to have a lot of trouble stopping Iowa State but at the same time I believe they're going to be able to score a lot of points against a Cyclones team that has not played good defense all season. Speaking more on defense, Iona has some decent statistics allowing opponents to shoot just over 42% from the field and just under 46% on opponents to point shots. However, those are statistics from playing in the MAAC and tonight they will face one of the best scoring teams in the country.

 

Iowa State Cyclones
Iowa State ranks first in the country averaging 31.2 field goals made per game and second in the country shooting 50.2% from the field. They also rank 24th in the country averaging 62.2 field goal attempts per game and conversely rank in the bottom of NCAA basketball allowing opponents to get up 64.8 field goal attempts per game. On the other side of the ball we see similar statistics as far as tempo an overall scoring but this is an Iowa State team that has proven time and time again they are very efficient offensively. Defensively they have also shown not much resistance allowing opponents to get up and down the floor and get into the tempo of the game and pace that they like to run. Statistically Iowa State ranks well out of the top 100 teams in all important defensive categories. Iona should do enough tonight to hang with Iowa State in order for us to get over this big total. The pace from the opening tip will be fast and I expect both teams to put up a bit over 80 points.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Over 166.5 
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes