Ohio State vs Iowa State Preview & Free Pick [3/22/19]

Ohio State (19-14) vs Iowa State (23-11)
When: Friday, March 22nd, 2019
Where: BOK Center,
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Time: 9:50 ET | TV: TBS
Opening Odds: Iowa State -6.5/140

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The Ohio State Buckeyes are coming into the NCAA Tournament with very little momentum and just managed to miss having to play in one of the First Four games thanks to a win in their conference tournament last weekend. Ohio State stumbled down the stretch with wins in just three of their final 10 games and will take on an Iowa State Cyclone team that is coming off a Big 12 Tournament Championship. The Buckeyes lost four of their final five regular season games to put them on the bubble, but knocked off Indiana 79-75 before being eliminated by Michigan State in the Big Ten Tournament. In all fairness, three of Ohio State’s losses down the stretch were without 6’9″ forward Kaleb Wesson, who was serving a three-game suspension before returning for the conference tournament. Iowa State was considered a top four seed for most of the season before stumbling down the regular season stretch. The Cyclones lost five of six games before running the table for their fourth Big 12 Tournament Championship in six years, beating Kansas 78-66 in the final. Iowa State is dancing for the seventh time in the past eight years, while Ohio State head coach Chris Holtmann has led Ohio State to two NCAA Tournament berths in his first two seasons at the helm. The teams last met in the NCAA Tournament in 2013 as Ohio State advanced to the Sweet 16 with a thrilling 68-65 victory.

Part of Ohio State’s inconsistent play this season was their inability to shoot the ball, especially from long range, where they ranked 189th in the country at just 34.3 percent. Defense kept them in games, as they allowed just 66.2 points per contest. Wesson (team highs of 14.4 points, 6.8 rebounds) recorded 17 points and 13 rebounds in the win over Indiana before managing only seven points and three rebounds in the loss to the Spartans. The Buckeyes have just one other double-digit scorer in senior point guard C.J. Jackson (12.2 points, 3.5 assists), who had 17 points and five assists versus Indiana, but played poorly against Michigan State. Keyshawn Woods (7.7 points) stepped up his play in the Big Ten Tournament with 34 points in two games. Ohio State’s third-leading scorer is Kaleb’s brother Andre, who averages 8.8 points a game and 4.0 rebounds.

The Cyclones have a pretty good balance of offense and defense, averaging 77.4 points a game while allowing 68.3 and become the lowest seed (No. 5) to win a Big 12 Tournament. Iowa State has four players averaging double-digits in scoring led by Marial Shayok (18.6 points), who was named Most Outstanding Player in the Big 12 Tournament. Lindell Wigginton (13.5), Talen Horton-Tucker (12.1) and Michael Jacobson (11.5) are the other top point producers, while Nick Babb (9.2 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists) and Tyrese Haliburton (44.1 percent 3-point shooting) help out as well. This will be Iowa State’s 20th NCAA Tournament appearance.

Don’t overlook this Iowa State team just because they struggled down the stretch. They have a great balance to them that you need to make a deep run in the tournament. Ohio State can go cold from the floor at anytime and the Cyclones will be right there to make them pay.

Pick: Iowa State -5.5

Buckeyes are 9-19 ATS in their last 28 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
Buckeyes are 4-10 ATS in their last 14 Friday games.
Buckeyes are 9-23 ATS in their last 32 neutral site games.
Buckeyes are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games.
Buckeyes are 1-7 ATS in their last 8 games following a ATS win.
Buckeyes are 0-8 ATS in their last 8 NCAA Tournament games.
Buckeyes are 0-6-1 ATS in their last 7 vs. Big 12.

Cyclones are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 neutral site games.
Cyclones are 6-2-1 ATS in their last 9 non-conference games.
Cyclones are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight up win.
Cyclones are 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 vs. Big Ten.

Over is 5-0 in Buckeyes last 5 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
Over is 6-0 in Buckeyes last 6 neutral site games.
Over is 4-1 in Buckeyes last 5 games following a ATS win.
Over is 20-7 in Buckeyes last 27 NCAA Tournament games.

Over is 5-1 in Cyclones last 6 overall.
Over is 5-1 in Cyclones last 6 games following a straight up win.
Over is 4-1 in Cyclones last 5 non-conference games.
Over is 8-2 in Cyclones last 10 NCAA Tournament games.
Over is 6-2 in Cyclones last 8 games following a ATS win.
Under is 6-2 in Cyclones last 8 neutral site games.
Over is 18-7-1 in Cyclones last 26 vs. Big Ten.