NCAA Basketball Picks: Iowa State vs. Ohio State

Darin Zank

Sunday, March 24, 2013 12:20 PM GMT

Sunday, Mar. 24, 2013 12:20 PM GMT

Ohio State took the first step toward a second-consecutive Final Four berth with a relatively easy NCAA tournament opening-round victory Friday over Iona.


NCAA Tournament Betting Preview: Buckeyes Battle Cyclones

Iowa State also won Friday, beating Notre Dame in solid fashion to reach the second round of the  tournament for the second straight season.

Sunday the second-seeded Buckeyes meet up with the 10th-seeded Cyclones in Dayton to decide who moves on to the Sweet 16 (12:15 pm ET, CBS).

OSU-ISU Betting Lines

Most books opened this game with Ohio State favored by seven points on the NCAAb odds boards, the OVER/UNDER proffered at 141. And while the spread held steady in the early betting, the total got bumped to 142.

According to the Sagarin PREDICTOR ratings at USAToday.com the Buckeyes should be favored by 6.5 points for this game.

Bettors who believe Iowa State has a chance to win this game outright can get the Cyclones at +280 on the NCAA tournament moneyline at Pinnacle for thier sports picks.

OSU-ISU Game Set-Up

Iowa State earned its spot in this NCAA tournament by winning 22 games overall, going 11-7 in the Big 12, picking up victories along the way over Big Dance qualifiers Southern, Florida Gulf Coast, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma again.

The Cyclones then opened this tournament with a 76-58 victory over Notre Dame Friday night. ISU led by 12 points at the half, then hit 12 of its first 14 shots out of the locker room to blow the game open.

Iowa State shot 49 percent from the floor against the Irish, hit nine of 21 shots from beyond the arc and committed just six turnovers in covering the spread as one-point favorites.

Friday's game also played UNDER its total of 140, thanks in large part to a cold first half by Notre Dame.

On the chalky side of Sunday's match-up Ohio State finished in a tie for second place in the Big Ten this season, then won the conference tournament, topping Michigan State in the semifinals and Wisconsin in the finals.

OSU then began its quest for another Final Four berth by dispatching of Iona Friday 95-70. The Buckeyes shot 48 percent from the floor, held the Gaels to 35 percent and covered the spread as 15-point favorites.

After a six-year drought ISU is playing in the NCAA tournament for the second straight season. Last year the Cyclones beat UConn in the first round before losing to eventual tournament champion Kentucky.

Ohio State is playing in the tournament for the fifth straight season. The Buckeyes made it to the Final Four last year, and have reached the Sweet 16 the past three seasons.

Statistically Speaking

Iowa State leads all of D-1 in 3-pointers, averaging almost 10 made trifectas per game, shooting 37  percent from beyond the arc on 26 attempts per game. So the Cyclones are very dependent upon the 3-point shot, although they didn't need it all that much in their victory Friday, things went so well.

Ohio State, on the other hand, has held opponents to just a 32 percent success rate from long range this season.

Overall the Buckeyes have limited opponents to 39 percent shooting from the field this season, while Iowa State is allowing foes to shoot 43 percent.

OSU-ISU Betting Trends

Iowa State is 20-5 on the OVER/UNDERS this season, as Cyclones games have averaged 150 points.

Ohio State is 13-18 on the totals, as Buckeyes games have averaged 128 points.

ISU is 7-8 SU and 7-6 ATS in games vs. teams that made the NCAA tournament this season, including Friday's victory.

Iowa State is 7-3 ATS over its last 10 games.

The 'Clones are also 14-2 on the OVER/UNDERS over their last 16 games.

Ohio State is 10-7 SU and 12-4 ATS vs. tournament teams this season.

The Buckeyes are 8-1 ATS over their last nine games.

OSU is also 2-7 on the totals over its last nine games.

Free NCAA Tournament Pick

Iowa State can throw it in the hole, but Ohio State has been great lately, especially defensively. And the Buckeyes look like they're on a roll similar to the one that got them to the Final Four last year. Take OSU at the -6.5 points offered at Legends.

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