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Iowa State Cyclones vs Miami Hurricanes Betting Preview

The Sweet 16 wraps up Friday night with a battle between two high-seeded underdogs as the No. 11 Iowa State Cyclones (22-12) take on the No. 10 Miami Hurricanes (25-10). This game will be played at the United Center in Chicago, with tipoff scheduled for 9:59 pm ET.

After losing to Texas Tech in the Big 12 tournament, Iowa State has bounced back with back-to-back upsets over No. 6 LSU (59-54) and No. 3 Wisconsin (54-49).

In the win over the Badgers, Gabe Kalscheur led all scorers with 22 points while Izaiah Brockington added 10 for the Cyclones.

Miami has also had an impressive road to the Sweet 16. They took down No. 7 USC in the opening round before upsetting No. 2 Auburn 79-61 last Sunday.

Isaiah Wong had a game-high 21 points in the win over the Tigers. Kameron McGusty added 20 while Charlie Moore and Jordan Miller combined for 27.

Miami is the slight favorite in this one. They are -140 to win while the Cyclones’ moneyline sits at +116. The spread features Iowa State +2.5 (-110), and the over/under for total points is 133.

More Odds

Miami has the better of the two odds at winning the National Championship at +7000. The Cyclones are +10000 to win it all.

By The Numbers

Offensively, the Hurricanes have had the stronger team. They rank 55th in scoring averaging 74.7 points per game. Iowa State falls to 281st in scoring averaging just 65.9 points.

It is all Iowa State on the defense side. In terms of scoring defense, they rank 18th, allowing opponents just 62.3 points per game. Miami ranks 192nd, allowing 70.6 points.

Iowa State Has To Rely On Stellar Defense To Win

This may be T.J. Otzelberger’s first year at the helm for Iowa State, but he already has his players buying into his defensive mindset. After allowing an average of just 52 points in each of the first two games, the Cyclones will look to impose their stellar defense against the Hurricanes Friday.

While the team relies on a heavy dose of defense, the team is led on the offensive side by senior guard Izaiah Brockington. In 34 games, he has averaged 17.1 points per game on 45.1 percent shooting. He is also chipping in 6.8 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 1.3 steals per game.

The Cyclones only have one other player averaging double digits in guard Tyrese Hunter. In addition to his 10.9 points per game, he is also averaging 3.5 rebounds, 4.9 assists, and two steals per game.

Miami Has To Speed Things Up

Against a tough defense like Iowa State’s, Miami is going to have to find opportunities to push the ball and force the issue on offense. In their last nine games, the Hurricanes are 7-2. In that same span, the over has hit in six of those matchups.

If they want to move onto the Elite Eight, they are going to have to figure out the Cyclones’ defense and get points on the board.

Trying to get this accomplished, the team will turn to senior guard Kameron McGusty. He is averaging 17.5 points on 47.5 percent shooting this season. In addition to his scoring, McGusty also averages 4.9 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.8 steals per game.

The Hurricanes have three other significant offensive contributors in Isaiah Wong (15.5 points, 4.3 rebounds, two assists), Charlie Moore (12.8 points, 2.7 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 2.1 steals), and Jordan Miller (10.1 points, six rebounds, 1.8 steals).

Take Miami To Win And Cover

This game pits two very different styles against one another. On the one hand, Miami is very talented offensive while being mediocre at best on defense. Conversely, the Cyclones dominate on the defensive side while struggling to consistently put up points.

If Iowa State can keep the scoring to a minimum, like they did in their first two games, you have to like their chances in this one. With a week to prepare, though, expect veteran Hurricanes’ coach Jim Larranaga to have a game plan to attack the defense and create opportunities for his scorers.

While this will likely be close throughout, take Miami to eventually pull away and cover the modest 2.5-point spread.

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