If you thought that the madness was over, you were wrong, as yesterday we saw not 1, but 2, top seed line teams get bounced from the NCAA tournament! Both the Gonzaga Bulldogs and Arizona Wildcats saw their season’s come to a premature ending, with the Bulldogs losing to Arkansas and the Wildcats losing to Houston, on what was yet another wild day of March Madness!
The Duke Blue Devils and Villanova Wildcats joined the Razorbacks and Cougars in the Elite Eight with wins last night as well, and the national title picture is starting to come into focus as we play down to the Final Four this weekend. Today, we have 4 more games on the slate, as teams try to win and advance.
Which Thursday upset surprised you most? ?⬇️ pic.twitter.com/anApqyxd2N
— FOX College Hoops (@CBBonFOX) March 25, 2022
The night will kick off with the Peacocks of St. Peter’s as they try to continue their magical run and become the first 15-seed ever to win a game in the Sweet 16, against the Boilermakers of Purdue. The Kansas Jayhawks are hoping to avoid the 1-seed massacre that we saw yesterday, as they play the Big East champion Providence Friars, with a trip to the Elite Eight on the line.
In the late games, we have North Carolina and UCLA squaring off in a matchup between college basketball royalty and Iowa State and Miami battling it out to see which double-digit seed will keep their quest for the Final Four alive! It is going to be another action-packed day, and for this bet, we will head to the Midwest Regional, for the game between 11-seed Iowa State and 10-seed Miami.
Iowa State Cyclones (22-12)
The Iowa State Cyclones might be the most surprising team still left playing in this tournament. I know most people will disagree with me and say that St. Peter’s is this year’s true Cinderella, but when you take into account that Iowa State won just 2 games last season, and they are now playing in the Sweet 16, what the Cyclones have been able to do has been staggering.
T.J. Otzelberger has produced the greatest year-over-year turnaround in the history of college basketball, and personally, I feel that it is a shame that we aren’t hearing more love for Iowa State from the mainstream media. The fact that Iowa State managed to pull off this tremendous rebirth with a first-year head coach, while playing in what just might be the best conference in the nation, the Big 12, is the stuff that Disney movies are made out of.
????? ?? ???????!!
— Iowa State Men’s Basketball (@CycloneMBB) March 25, 2022
When you look at the full body of work for Iowa State, it isn’t all that shocking that this team is still playing, as they played the 11th toughest schedule in the country this year, and that makes the fact that they have won 22 games, that much more impressive. The Cyclones have top-100 wins over Xavier, Memphis, Creighton, Iowa, Texas Tech, Texas, Oklahoma State, TCU, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Kansas State, to along with their wins over LSU and Wisconsin in this tournament.
It is the defense that drives much of the Cyclone’s success, as they have a top-5 D in terms of efficiency, and that stout front line has held teams to an average of just 51 points per game so far in the NCAA tournament. Iowa State’s defense completely overwhelmed Wisconsin in their last game, and with the Badgers as the Big 10 regular season champions, it’s not like they weren’t used to playing physical teams with strong defenses. Something tells me that Iowa State just might be special.
Miami Hurricanes (25-10)
It wasn’t all that long ago that the Miami Hurricanes were at real risk of not even getting into the field of 68, as they were squarely on the bubble late in the regular season. Miami did a good job of doing just enough to sneak in though, and they have taken advantage of that opportunity, with upset victories over USC and Auburn. The question is, can Miami continue to play well, and punch their ticket to the Final Four this weekend?
— Canes Hoops (@CanesHoops) March 25, 2022
I always want to look at the biggest sample size possible when I am breaking down data. You never want to overreact to a small sample size of data, as it can convince you that things that aren’t real are the truth. College basketball is played by young men, and when you are playing with sometimes 18 and 19-year-old kids, we can see some crazy things happen, that are hard to predict. When I look at the full resume for Miami, I am just not all that impressed.
The Hurricanes don’t have nearly as many quality wins as you would like, as the ACC being down this season really hurt them. Miami did pick up wins over North Carolina and Duke, and with the Tar Heels and Blue Devils both still playing right now, those wins held up as quality ones, but outside of that, signature wins were hard to come by for the Hurricanes this year.
None of their non-conference wins were anything to write home about, as their best wins outside of the ACC came over North Texas and Penn State and neither of those teams were playing meaningful games in March. And besides those wins over Duke and North Carolina, the only other win that Miami had against a team that played in the NCAA tournament, was over Virginia Tech.
I like to rate teams by their wins, not their losses, as being able to beat elite teams is more important to me than occasionally having an off night and losing to a team that you shouldn’t. But even through that lens, the Hurricanes don’t have a record that I see as anywhere near the level of a team on the cusp of the Final Four. Miami has losses to UCF, Dayton, Florida State (twice), and Virginia (twice), and none of those teams heard their names called on Selection Sunday.
Iowa State Cyclones vs Miami Hurricanes Betting Odds And Team Statistics
The following odds are courtesy of BetOnline:
|Iowa State Cyclones||+3.5 (-110)||+135||Over 131.5 (-110)|
|Miami Hurricanes||-3.5 (-110)||-155||Under 131.5 (-110)|
|Team Data||Iowa State Cyclones||Miami Hurricanes|
|Points Per Game||77.1||79.3|
|Points Against Per Game||62.3||70.6|
|Field Goal %||43.3%||47.7%|
|Three Point %||31.9%||34.4%|
Iowa State Cyclones vs Miami Hurricanes Prediction:
When this line first posted, with Miami laying a point and a half, I was quite surprised that the books were on the Hurricanes. Kenpom has Iowa State winning this game outright, and it is fairly rare that we see a line open that is this far off of what the data is telling us. But Pomeroy only had Iowa State winning by a single point, so with that razor-thin margin, it was somewhat understandable that the books might be on the other side, as it wasn’t a major discrepancy.
But what has me blown away, is what this line has done since it opened, as the public has been all over Miami. The action has all come in on the Hurricanes, and the only thing that I can think is that with Miami’s slightly higher seed, and with how well the ACC has played in this tournament, that the public is being tricked into jumping on the wrong side. All of that public money action has moved this line sharply towards the Hurricanes, and as of this morning, they are now laying -3.5-points.
Iowa State Cyclones vs Miami Hurricanes Betting Trends:
- Iowa State is 6-3 ATS in their last 9 games
- The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Iowa State’s last 5 games
- Iowa State is 6-3 SU in their last 9 games
- Iowa State is 2-11 SU in their last 13 games played in March
- Iowa State is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games when playing as the underdog
- Miami is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games
- The total has gone OVER in 6 of Miami’s last 9 games
- Miami is 5-1 SU in their last 6 games
- Miami is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games this season
- Miami is 5-1 SU in their last 6 games played in March
At this point, this is just plain and simple a bad number. To see Miami laying more than a full possession’s worth of points is laughable, and I don’t just like a play on Iowa State, I love it! The Cyclones show a ton of value on the money line as well, as I do think that they are going to win this game, but I just can’t pass up on the opportunity to get this many points.
Iowa State plays a level of defense that Miami hasn’t seen all season long. The Hurricanes make a living by playing a quick tempo, shooting the ball efficiently, and taking care of the basketball by not turning it over. But against this swarming Iowa State D, they are going to get frustrated into taking bad shots, as the Cyclones force some of the longest possessions in the country on defense.
He’s got our vote!
— Iowa State Men’s Basketball (@CycloneMBB) March 23, 2022
Iowa State forced turnovers at a nearly 25% clip, the 4th best in the country, and their ability to get the Hurricanes to turn the ball over is going to be the difference in this game. The closest comparison defensively to Iowa State that Miami has played this year, was their games against Virginia, and even with as strong as the Hoos generally are on D, they aren’t nearly as accomplished as this Iowa State unit is this year.
In those games against Virginia? Miami scored an average of just 64 points per game, well under their season average of nearly 80 points per game, and they lost both contests. Expect Miami to get behind early, and never catch up, as Iowa State wins and advances to the Elite Eight!