March Madness

2014 NCAA Tournament Preview: (3) Iowa State vs. (7) UConn

A breakdown of Iowa State and UConn’s Sweet 16 matchup and a chance to vote on who you think will win.

Yannis Koutroupis profile picture
Updated 12 months ago on
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Iowa State Cyclones
After losing Georges Niang, one of their best big men, few teams in the Round of 32 poised a bigger threat to the Cyclones than the North Carolina Tar Heels and their rugged frontline. The Cyclones’ frontline lacks depth, but they have one of the most physically imposing point guards in the country in DeAndre Kane and he stepped up in Niang’s absence. Kane came up three assists shy of a triple-double, scoring 24 points and grabbing 10 rebounds while creating seven assists (against seven turnovers). Thanks to his help on the glass, the Cyclones were only outrebounded by one. Daniel Edozie started and played 16 minutes to help counter the Tar Heels’ size, but the Cyclones primarily hurt them with their guard play. They hit 12 threes at a 46 percent clip, led by Naz Long’s 4-8 from long range. In the Sweet 16 they’re taking on a much different kind of ball club in the UConn Huskies. Their attack is based around their guard play. If the Cyclones can win the battle at the point against Shabazz Napier, they could still manage to get to the Elite Eight despite their serious loss in the opening round.

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Connecticut Huskies
With their move to the AAC, the Huskies didn’t get a chance during the regular season to continue their rivalry with Villanova. Luckily for us, the two met up in the Round of 32 for another quality battle in which Shabazz Napier proved to be the best player on the floor once again. He gave the Wildcats’ defense fits, going off for 25 points on 13 shots in a 77-65 victory. The Huskies were really exposed the Wildcats’ inability to score inside of the arc, making only seven regular field goals in the game. They also forced 16 turnovers. That could be another area that they could really take advantage of their Sweet 16 opponent, the Iowa State Cyclones, in. They struggled taking care of the ball as well in their Round of 32 victory. Backcourt play is going to dictate this contest. If the Huskies can take the Cyclones off of the dribble and get to the line at the same rate they did against the Wildcats’ talented guards, they’ll be Elite Eight bound.

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Yannis Koutroupis is Basketball Insiders' Managing Site Editor and Senior Writer. He has been covering the NBA and NCAA for seven years.

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