Line: Iowa -2

Representing the seventh and tenth seeds of the South bracket the 21-11 Iowa Hawkeyes take on the 24-7 Davidson Wildcats. Both of these teams enter the tournament on a high note as the Hawkeyes are winners of 10 out of their last 11 games and the Wildcats have won 8 out of their last 11 games. For the season however, Davidson has only 2 wins against tournament bound teams while Iowa has 7. The only team to play both Davidson and Iowa this year was UNC and Davidson lost at home by 18 while Iowa won by 5 at UNC.

Davidson lost in the first round in both 2012 and 2013 and must rely on A-10 player of the year Tyler Kalinoski to help them advance. Kalinoski has scored in double figures in 28 of the Wildcats 31 games while averaging 5.5 rebounds and 4 assists. He leads a balanced offense that has 5 different players averaging double-digit points per game. Davidson is undersized with this matchup but likes to play fast. This up-tempo style of play has resulted in Davidson ranking sixth nationally in points scored per game (80) and third nationally in assists per game (17) this year. Lack of size on the defensive end will be a problem for the Wildcats as Iowa has 3 big men who can score in the paint.

Iowa has been somewhat inconsistent this year. They have beaten UNC and Ohio State twice but were swept by Wisconsin, lost to Northern Iowa and were just beaten by 13 points by Penn State who is a 13 seed. They are led by senior forward Aaron White who can do just about everything. He has led the Hawkeyes in scoring 18 times, in rebounding 14 times and steals 13 times this year. In addition to White, Centers Gabriel Olaseni and Adam Woodbury pose problems for Davidson who likes to go with a 4 guard lineup. Their defense has also been good as they rank in the top 10 in the nation in steals at just under 4 per game. All year long they have played quality teams as they ranked 28th in strength of schedule this year. They also do a great job of not turning the ball over as they rank second in the nation at turnover percentage.

Iowa won the last 9 games of the regular season to finish first in the A-10. In addition to having dominant big men, they also make more than 10 three pointers per game making more than 40% of their attempts. Davidson’s offense scores a lot of points but they are also efficient as they rank 31st in the nation in field goal percentage at 47%. Davidson has been excellent against the spread this year going 22-6 while Iowa is only 15-13 but that could be misleading as Iowa has had a much tougher schedule. Iowa has faced and has had more success against high quality teams which gives them a slight edge.

Pick: Iowa -2

Check out 2015 March Madness Odds updated daily.

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