One of the things the Iowa State Cyclones want to do when they go into a game, with virtually anybody, is to have the edge in quickness. They like to play "small ball," and that strategy had better work for them in a big way when they take on the Purdue Boilermakers in Midwest regional action that begins at 9:40 PM ET at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee. BetAnySports customers will have the opportunity to get reduced juice before the game, which gives them better NCAA Tournament odds, and then they can challenge those odds in real time, adding to the excitement of the experience, when they access the state-of-the-art software from Live Betting Ultra.
Iowa State, which is ranked 17th by the Associated Press and 20th by the coaches poll, started off their activity with a 84-73 victory over Nevada. That was the ninth straight game in which they went "over" the total. This is a team that will go onto the floor with a quartet of guards, and they are indeed talented. The leader of the pack is Monte Morris, a 6-3 dynamo who has the best assist-turnover ratio in the nation and hits 39% of his three-pointers. The Cyclones are 24-10 straight-up and 19-12 ATS.
Purdue has a #15 ranking in both major polls, and they had a test in the opener against Vermont, winning 80-70 and barely managing the cover against the basketball pointspread. They check in with a record of 26-7 straight-up and 18-10 ATS. Purdue was the Big 10 regular-season champion, winning that title by a margin of two games.
In the NCAA Tournament odds posted on this game by the folks at BetAnySports, it's all even:
Purdue Boilermakers pick
Iowa State Cyclones
Over 152 points -110
Under 152 points -110
The tallest player Iowa State will put on the floor is Darrell Bowie, at 6-8. And it will be a handful for him to deal with Caleb Swanigan, Purdue's scoring and rebounding machine. Swanigan, an All-American, averaged 18.7 points and 12.6 rebounds (second in the nation), and managed 16 points with 14 boards against Vermont. Purdue managed to hit nine at of its 20 triples in that game, and that is consistent with their narrative, as they are third-best in the nation in going "long-distance" (40.7%). Iowa State is right behind them, at 40.3%, so this could come down to who defends the three-pointer better. In that regard, you would have to give the vote to Purdue, which holds opponents to just 32.4% from beyond the arc. But that is not where Purdue's advantages end.
Vincent Edwards, at 6-8, who scored 21 points against Vermont, also creates a matchup problem, and then coach Matt Painter can reach out to his bench and bring 7-2 Isaac Haas into the game. How will Iowa State deal with the possibility that Purdue could completely control the glass, on both ends of the floor? After all, the Cyclones are outside of the top 275 in the nation in rebounding, whether it is on the offensive or defensive end. Unless Iowa State can somehow force its pace on Purdue, which has not exactly been allergic to a faster tempo, this becomes a very difficult assignment for the Big 12 tournament champion.
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