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Friday, March 22 9:50 P.M. in Tulsa, Oklahoma
This is Big Ten vs. Big 12 in the final match up of Friday night in Tulsa. Iowa State earned an automatic bid after their incredible run to the Big 12 Conference Tournament Championship. They took down Baylor, Kansas State, and Kansas in three days to claim the title. Ohio State earned an at-large bid after getting knocked out by Michigan State in the Big 10 Tournament. They picked up a win over Indiana, but were overpowered by the Spartans.
Iowa State Enters National Tournament with Momentum
Iowa State is a six-seed. How? That is a great question. The only explanation is consistency throughout the season. The Cyclones finished their season with two wins over Kansas, and Kansas State. They also had wins over Texas Tech and Ole Miss. On the other side, Iowa State suffered losses to Baylor twice, TCU, Texas, and West Virginia. Only Baylor is in the tournament of those four teams. Regardless, this is a team that can surprise people, and make a Final Four run. At their best, the Cyclones can compete with anyone in the tournament. Their bracket is tough with North Carolina and Kentucky. They will not have to see the Tar Heels until the Elite Eight or Kentucky until the Sweet 16. They will have two games to win before facing one of the top seeds, but those are games that everyone should want to see.
How sweeeeeet was this? Yeah we brought that 🏆 back home to Ames!
— Iowa State Men’s Basketball (@CycloneMBB) March 18, 2019
The Cyclones will enter the tournament with almost a 10-point differential. They scored 77.4 points per game which was 62nd in the country. Marial Shayok led the team with 18.4 points per game. The Virginia transfer led the Cyclones through the Big 12 Tournament with relative ease. They shot 36.5% from three-point range in the season. Iowa State was the Big 12’s highest-scoring team. They were able to win offensively in a conference that plays strong defense. They are made for a tournament setting. Iowa State has leadership from their seniors and a team that can win multiple games in as many days. This was the surprise team in the conference tournament and will continue to surprise people as an under-seeded team in the NCAA Tournament.
Ohio State Sneaks in as At-Large
The Big Ten is well represented in this year’s tournament. Ohio State will enter as one of the lower seeds. Ohio State earned an 11-seed after a 19-14 season where they went 8-12 in conference play. They were able to pick up a win in the Big Ten Tournament which helped their case. Kaleb Wesson averaged 14.4 points and 6.8 rebounds per game to lead the Buckeyes in both. He is the straw that stirs the drink for Ohio State. They are much better with him on the floor. Ohio State is in the tournament once again despite a conference record under .500. They beat No. 22 Iowa late in the season, and won a game in the Big Ten Tournament. If they had not beaten Indiana, this might be a different team getting set to face Iowa State.
— Ohio State Hoops (@OhioStateHoops) March 17, 2019
The Buckeyes know what is ahead of them. “You have to be really good to win your conference tournament in that league. And my guess is they were the No. 1 of the six seeds, I would guess,” Chris Holtmann said. “They could have very easily been a five seed.” Ohio State was strong defensively this season, but struggled on the offensive end. They allowed just 66.2 points per game this season which was 48th in the nation. Their point-differential was just 3.4 because of their inept offensive play. They will have to slow the game down against Iowa State if they want to pull off the upset. The Cyclones are playing as well as anyone in the country, but they should not take the Buckeyes lightly in this game.
- Cyclones are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 neutral site games.
- Cyclones are 6-2-1 ATS in their last 9 non-conference games
- Over is 4-1 in Cyclones last 5 non-conference games
- Over is 8-2 in Cyclones last 10 NCAA Tournament games
- Over is 6-2 in Cyclones last 8 games following an ATS win
- Buckeyes are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games
- Buckeyes are 1-7 ATS in their last 8 games following an ATS win
- Buckeyes are 0-8 ATS in their last 8 NCAA Tournament games
- Buckeyes are 0-6-1 ATS in their last 7 vs. Big 12
- Over is 6-1 in Buckeyes last 7 overall
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
This will be an upset match up for many self-proclaimed bracketologists, especially being a 6 vs. 11 match up. My confidence in Iowa State was present all throughout the Big 12 Tournament, and it will stay present here. Iowa State was 18-14-2 ATS this season while Ohio State was 14-19. Iowa State is a strong team who will have the best player on the floor in Shayok. The Cyclones have Final Four aspirations, and to do so they will need to get past this game first. They covered all three games en route to a Big 12 Tournament title, and this will be the first one they cover in the big dance.
Prediction: Iowa State -5.5
Full-Game Total Pick
Iowa State was the Big 12’s highest scoring team. They have played five of their last six games over. In those games, they have scored 70 or more points four times. This will be a game where they will up near 80. Ohio State is not a team that scores many points, but they will need to change their game plan if they want to compete. The Buckeyes will have to adjust to the high-scoring, fast-paced style of play that the Cyclones bring to the table. Tulsa has an exciting slate of games ahead of them, headlined by this one that will see points to end the night.
Prediction: Over 140.5