Iowa State vs. Miami – March Madness, Friday, March 25, 2022

| March 24, 2022 5:58 pm PDT

Well how about this Sweet 16 matchup. The No. 11 Iowa State Cyclones take on No. 10 Miami Hurricanes. I doubt many people had Iowa State or Miami in the Sweet 16, but here they are. One of these teams could be the only double-digit seed in the Elite Eight.

Both teams have looked impressive, knocking off top three seeds in Auburn and Wisconsin. Which team has what it takes to advance to the Elite Eight?

Bovada gives us the odds for this Sweet 16 matchup.

Iowa State vs. Miami Odds for March 25th

Iowa State Cyclones (+2.5)-105
Miami Hurricanes (-2.5)-115
Iowa State to Win+130
Miami to Win-150
Over 133.0-110
Under 133.0-110

Both teams have looked good in March Madness, so it’s hard to pick a favorite. The sportsbooks are giving a slight edge to the Miami Hurricanes. However, we can’t sleep on the Iowa State Cyclones.

Going back to the regular season, Iowa State has covered the spread in six of their last nine games. That includes both March Madness games as the underdog. Iowa State has gone under their point total in four of their previous five games.

Miami has been strong against the spread all season. They’ve been hot in the last month, covering in eight of their 11 games.

Miami has been a high-scoring team, but they’ve gone under their point total in both NCAA Tournament games.

Neither team comes into this matchup with a new injury. Harlond Beverly has been out of action for Miami since December. Miami has withstood his loss as they’re on the brink of the Elite Eight.

Both teams have exceeded expectations, but the job isn’t done. Let’s break down their chances to advance to the Elite Eight.

Iowa State Cyclones Preview

The Iowa State Cyclones have had one of the most impressive turnarounds in college basketball history. They went 2-22 last season, including 0-18 in Big 12 play.

Iowa State entered the season with (+15000) odds to win the Big 12. A little over a month into the season, they were top 10 in the AP Poll. Iowa State struggled in Big 12 play, but they did enough to qualify for March Madness.

All season, the strength of Iowa State has been their defense. Check out their points allowed in two NCAA Tournament games.

  • LSU: 54 points
  • Wisconsin: 49 points

Neither LSU nor Wisconsin was a great offensive team, but they’re more than capable of scoring 55+ points. Iowa State did a great job against Wooden Award candidate Johnny Davis. Davis went 4-16 from the field, including 0-7 from three-point range.

The biggest question surrounding Iowa State is, can their offense step up? They rank outside the top 300 with 65.9 points per game. That hasn’t been an issue because of their defense, but what if their defense struggles?

Iowa State only has two players averaging over 10 points. Izaiah Brockington leads the team with 17.1 points per game, while Tyrese Hunter averaged 10.9.

Both players had a great performance against LSU, but it wasn’t pretty against Wisconsin.

  Izaiah Brockington Tyrese Hunter
Points 10 4
Field Goal Shooting 4-15 1-10

Iowa State should be thankful their defense shut down Wisconsin because their stars didn’t show up. Luckily, Gabe Kalscheur stepped up with 22 points on 10-19 field goal shooting.

The updated March Madness odds have Iowa State with (+8000) odds to win the National Championship. Iowa State has defied the odds all season. They can continue to do so with a victory in the Sweet 16.

Miami Hurricanes Preview 

The Miami Hurricanes looked like an NCAA Tournament team in early January, but a 13-9 stretch to close the season didn’t exude confidence. Miami was nearly one and done in the ACC Tournament, but they had an overtime victory over Boston College. Does Miami make the NCAA Tournament without that victory?

Miami isn’t known for their defense, but they did a great job against USC and Auburn. Check the numbers for USC’s Isaiah Mobley and Auburn’s Jabari Smith Jr.

  Isaiah Mobley Jabari Smith Jr
Points 11 10
Field Goal Shooting 3-11 3-16

Jabari Smith Jr. has an excellent chance to go top three in the 2022 NBA draft. It’s a big deal for Miami to shut down a player of his caliber. Their defense has been the difference-maker in their Sweet 16 run.

Now we can’t forget about Miami’s offense. They have four players averaging over 10 points, with Kameron McGusty leading the way. McGusty had a quiet performance against USC but bounced back with 20 points on 10-18 shooting against Auburn.

McGusty might be their leading scorer, but Isaiah Wong has been their best player in March Madness.

  Vs. USC Vs. Auburn
Points 22 21
Field Goal Shooting 7-12 8-18

Miami will be a tough team to beat if those players are playing at a high level. And that’s without their defense holding teams under 66 points.

It’ll be interesting to see if McGusty, Wong, and the Miami offense can keep things up against a stout Iowa State Cyclones defense. Whoever wins that matchup will likely advance to the Elite Eight.

We have two teams in the Sweet 16 that have exceeded expectations. One will continue to do so, while the other goes home. Here is my game pick for this Sweet 16 matchup.

Iowa State vs. Miami Pick

  • Miami Hurricanes (-2.5)

Both teams have done an excellent job making the Sweet 16, but only one can advance to the Elite Eight. The Iowa State Cyclones defense and Miami Hurricanes offense has been great all season.

Miami’s defense in the NCAA Tournament puts them over the edge. I believe that’ll be the difference-maker as they aim to make their first Elite Eight appearance in program history.

It’ll be a late night as Friday’s game tips off at 9:59 p.m. ET on TBS. Make sure you check out this breakdown of all four Sweet 16 games on Friday.

Nicholas Sterling

Nicholas has been a Sports Writer with since May 2021. He has a rich sports background, writing about NASCAR, NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, Golf, etc. Nick is always ready for a new challenge.

He enjoys rooting on D.C. sports teams, including the Commanders, Wizards, and Capitals.

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