NCAA Tournament Picks -- UConn Feels Right at Home as Huskies Play Iowa State in Sweet 16

 

In the college basketball odds that have been established on this Sweet 16 game, Iowa State is laying 1.5 points, although UConn is in some familiar territory here.

You see, the program likes to think it has made a second home out of the Garden, where they competed for years as a member of the Big East. In the Huskies ran into an old conference rival, the Villanova Wildcats, in their last game, holding them to just 36% from the field. The Huskies have limited the opposition to 39% on the season, and they have been very proficient at controlling tempo, as they give up just under 64 points a game.

That puts them in contrast to the Cyclones, who turn up the volume (83 ppg) and will probably look to get out on the run even more frequently now that they have to play without forward Georges Niang, who was a presence down low and is gone for the duration with a foot injury that was suffered in ISU's Big Dance opener against North Carolina Central. Fred Hoiberg is likely to go smaller with his lineup, but NCAA Tournament bettors can expect that Kane, who is upwards of 6'6", is going to take whoever guards him to the basket.

Maybe that will be Napier, who burned Villanova for 25 points in 25 minutes, making four triples. If Kane can make Napier, a holdover form UConn's last national title team, work hard on defense, he may be able to wear him down. Most people aren't counting on that happening, however.

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