Iowa St. Cyclones vs. Connecticut Huskies
The Iowa State Cyclones and the UConn Huskies battle it out on Thursday in Louisville as they meet in the first round of the South Regional in the 2012 NCAA Tournament. The Huskies are -1 point favorites over the Cyclones with an over/under point total set at 135.5.
The Iowa State Cyclones are back in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since Fred Hoiberg took over as Head Coach and despite losing in their first game of the Big 12 Tournament they find themselves as the number eight seed in the South. ISU was 10-4 in non-conference games this season, 2-1 in neutral site games, and 2-5 against teams ranked in the top 25 while playing the 38th ranked schedule in the nation. Royce White is averaging 13.1 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 5.1 assists, Scott Christopherson is averaging 12.5 points, and Chris Allen is averaging 11.8 points. As a team the Cyclones are averaging 73.2 points and they are shooting 44.9 percent while defensively they are allowing 66.7 points and their opponents are shooting 43.5 percent. While the expectations coming into the season were muted for Iowa State there are expectations of them now.
The UConn Huskies are the defending National Champions and although they haven’t looked like Champions most of the season Jim Calhoun’s team is still a force to be reckoned with come tournament time. UConn was 12-3 in games outside of the Big East, 4-2 in neutral site games, 2-6 against teams ranked in the top 25, and they played the second ranked schedule in the nation.. Jeremy lamb is averaging 17.7 points and 4.9 rebounds, Shabazz Napier is averaging 12.7 points and 5.8 assists, Ryan Boatright is averaging 10.5 points, and Andre Drummond is averaging 10.2 points and 7.7 rebounds. As a team the Huskies are averaging 68.8 points and they are shooting 45.4 percent while defensively they are allowing 64.1 points and their opponents shoot 38.3 percent. There aren’t many coaches who have a better tournament record than Calhoun and if the Huskies were to make a run it wouldn’t be the first time he has orchestrated one.
Iowa State is 6-1 against the spread following games which they didn’t cover, 15-5-1 against the spread in their last 21 games overall, and 4-0 against the spread following a loss. UConn is 4-0 against the spread in their last four games against the Big 12, 22-7 against the spread in their last 29 neutral site games, and 14-6 against the spread in their last 20 non-conference games.
The total is set at 135.5 and I have this one staying under that number.