Featured Video from Scott Reichel
Where: Nationwide Arena, Columbus Ohio
When: Friday, March 22, 2019 12:15pm Eastern
It’s that time again!! Time to make “Cash with the Flash” and we have an awesome start to our Friday basketball betting pleasure when the Iowa Hawkeyes face the Cincinnati Bearcats in their first-round matchup in the South Region. Iowa got here by finishing sixth in the Big Ten and Cincinnati wound up here by finishing second in the American Athletic Conference and winning its season-ending tournament. I’m the Flash and I’m looking forward to previewing this contest for you today.
Iowa Hoping to Regain Their Winning Ways
The Big Ten was deep this season, and Iowa and its record of 22 wins and 11 losses and .500 conference record were enough to get Iowa a 10 seed in the South! KenPom ranks the Hawkeyes number 36 in the country with a strength of schedule ranking of number 28, so there shouldn’t be any objections to the Hawkeyes being here. The Hawkeyes have a record of 5-6 against top 25 teams and finished their season losing six of their last eight games including a four-game losing streak which was the longest of this season.
— Iowa Basketball (@IowaHoops) March 18, 2019
The Hawkeyes aren’t listing any injuries for their matchup with the Bearcats on Friday.
Friday will be the two schools first and only meeting this season. Iowa has a neutral site record of 4-1 and is hoping to end a one-game losing streak.
Junior forward Tyler Cook leads the Hawkeyes in scoring, averaging 14.9 points per game with a team-leading 7.9 rebounds, 2.4 assists and has met or exceeded his scoring average twice in the past five games.
The Hawkeyes score an average of 78.3 points per game and snare nine offensive rebounds, 26.8 defensive caroms and drop an average of 15.6 dimes per game this season.
UPDATE #1 March 20, 2019, The Flash
Iowa Head Coach Fran McCaffrey had this to say about playing the Bearcats;
Mick Cronin is a really good friend of mine, excellent coach, great guy, tremendous defensive team that prides themselves on defensive effort intensity. They can score too and they have real good players. Not many programs win close to 30 every year and they end up doing that. It’s a credit to them and it’s a challenge that we look forward to.
UPDATE #2 March 22, 2019, The Flash
Hawkeyes junior guard Jordan Bohannon was asked what level he felt the Hawkeyes were playing at currently;
I feel like we’re really prepared to play at this level, knowing — coming from the Big Ten Conference and the teams we’ve played against all year. We’ve played one of the hardest schedules in the country. For us to be able to get on this stage, I think our past will prepare us for these moments.
We’ve played at Madison Square Garden and big stages already. I know what we’re capable of doing and I think we all have that same mindset.”
Cincy Has Real Test With Iowa
I really like the Cincinnati Bearcats this season, and what’s not to like? KenPom ranks the Bearcats number 32 in the country and their strength of schedule ranking of 73 was solid enough to get Cincinnati the seventh seed in the South Region. The Bearcats defeated SMU, Wichita State and Houston to win the AAC Tournament and essentially validated their 28-6 overall record and 14-4 AAC record. The troubling side is their 1-6 record against Top 25 teams and the encouraging thing would be the Bearcats never had a losing streak last longer than two games. Cincinnati also has had winning streaks of nine and eight games respectively this season. This Bearcats side knows how to win, but can they defeat a squad like Iowa?
— Cincinnati Men’s Hoops (@GoBearcatsMBB) March 18, 2019
Cincinnati isn’t listing anyone on their injury report for this game.
This will be the two squads first meeting this season, the Bearcats has a neutral site record of 5-0 and is hoping to continue a three-game winning streak.
Junior guard Jarron Cumberland leads the Bearcats in scoring, averaging 18.8 points per game with 4.5 rebound and a team-high 3.6 assists per game. Cumberland drains 2.3 triples per game and has exceeded his scoring average in three of his past five games.
The Bearcats score an average of 71.7 points per game and yank down 11.2 offensive rebounds, 25 defensive boards and dish 13.4 assists per game this season.
UPDATE 1: March 20, 2019: The Flash
Bearcats Head Coach Mick Cronin had this to say about playing Iowa;
“You’ve got to remember they’re a team that was ranked in the Top 25 a lot more than we were,” he said of Iowa. “They had some big wins early. They can really, really play offense. They’ve got guys that can score inside and out. Anyone that can score in multiple ways gives a coach a lot to think about.”
UPDATE 2: March 21, 2019, The Flash
Junior forward Tre Scott was asked about how the Bearcats have grown since the beginning of the season and how being named to the Memphis All-Tournament team this preseason helped his confidence going forward;
“We’ve grown in all areas, in all aspects from the first time we played Ohio State. We made a lot of changes, individually and as a team. But in every area you can think of in basketball as a team, we’ve grown in those areas.
It’s most definitely a confidence booster. I’ve got to keep my head focussed, just keep the same focus I had while I was in Memphis, playing hard and playing confident.
A lot of the stuff I did in Memphis, it was from constant, like, reps I did over the summer and throughout the season. And I mean I just gotta keep doing what I was doing, just keep staying focused, focused on important things and let the distractions go and just stay confident and I’ll be fine”
Stay tuned for more updates right up until tip-off!!
- Under is 7-1-1 in Bearcats last 9 games following a straight up win.
- Under is 4-1-1 in Bearcats last 6 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- Under is 4-1 in Bearcats last 5 vs. Big Ten.
- Under is 4-0 in Hawkeyes last 4 non-conference games.
- Under is 4-1 in Hawkeyes last 5 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- Under is 4-1-1 in Hawkeyes last 6 neutral site games.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I am a fan of the Hawkeyes but Cincinnati is the real deal and this three-points feel like a gift, and we should never refuse a beautiful gift like this. The way the Bearcats hit the offensive boards is a sight to behold, and I’m not sure Iowa can deal with that. That’s not to say that Iowa isn’t a good rebounding side because they are, but maybe not at the same level as the Bearcats. Tyler Cook is struggling far too much these days and without him leading the way on both ends of the floor, the Hawkeyes are toast. The Flash will be riding with the Bearcats on Friday!!
Prediction: Cincinnati -3 Points
Full-Game Total Pick
The Bearcats top 20 defense up against the Hawkeyes top 30 offense should be interesting to see, but I think the Bearcats and in particular, Cumberland will be too much for them on both ends of the floor. Iowa allows opposing shooters 32 percent from behind the arc so the Bearcats will likely have to settle for two-pointers in this one, and that should help keep down the score on Friday.
When I did the math and added everything together, I came up with 132 points and thought that to be about right on the money. The Flash, and hopefully you, are playing the under on Friday.
Prediction: Under 139 Points