Midwest Region: Ohio State vs Iowa State Prediction
Ohio State vs Iowa State Preview
Iowa State (23-11) drew the sixth seed in the Midwest Region, while Ohio State (19-14) is the 11th seed after losing in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten tournament to eventual champion Michigan State.
The Cyclones rediscovered their championship pedigree in Kansas City, reeling off three straight wins, including a 78-66 victory over Kansas in the finals to clinch their fourth conference tournament title in six years. They have been an up-and-down unit all season, and as a perpetual bettor of college basketball, it’s been a nightmare attempting to figure out which ISU team will show up on any given night. That being said, this team is talented enough to bust a lot of brackets should they get hot–like they are now, after running through the Big 12 Tourney.
“The experience in Kansas City helps the young kids already understand the tournament atmosphere,” Prohm told the Ames Tribune. “We’ve been through that this week so I think the guys — young and old — are used to that. There should be some nerves. It’s a big-time deal, being a part of the NCAA Tournament.”
The Buckeyes, led by second-year coach Chris Holtmann, will make their 33rd all-time appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
After winning 12 of their first 13 games of the season, the Buckeyes five lost straight, ending the season with an 8-12 record in Big Ten play.
“We have had our struggles, we have, there’s no doubting that, and we all take responsibility for that,” Holtmann said. “But we have also won some games, and we won some important games.”
Kaleb Wesson leadsOhio State with 14.4 points and 6.8 rebounds per contest, while C.J. Jackson adds 12.2 points per game and a team-best 113 total assists for the Buckeyes.
“We knew coming into this year that a lot of people were going to count us out for different reasons,” Jackson told the Columbus Dispatch. “We did what we had to do throughout the season to put ourselves in position to make the NCAA Tournament. With a young team, that’s all you can ask for.”
Jackson feels the Buckeyes can do some damage in the “Big Dance.”
“We’re not here just to play one game in the tournament, we’re here to actually win some games and make a run,” he said.
The Buckeyes and Cyclones last squared off in the Round of 32 of the 2013 NCAA Tournament, a 78-75 Ohio State victory in Dayton, Ohio. The two teams also met in 1985 in Tulsa, a 75-64 first-round victory for the Buckeyes.
Friday’s winner will play third-seeded Houston or 14th-seeded Georgia State in the second round on Sunday.
LINE: -5.5 Iowa State
Dan’s Bet: -5.5 Iowa State
Bracket Pick: Iowa State
Score Prediction: Iowa State 71 Ohio State 60