NCAA Tournament Predictions: South Region: 8. Connecticut vs. 9. Iowa State

By: Kels Dayton

 Iowa State (22-10, 12-6 Big Twelve)- The mayor,’ head coach Fred Hoiberg has returned to Ames and led Iowa State back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2005. The Cyclones are led by do-everything forward Royce White, who can impact a game without scoring a point. White does do his fair share of putting the ball in the basket, too, leading the team with 13.2 points per game.

Forward Royce White (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

The 6-8 sophomore forward has also put up 9.2 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game, and even sported a Cyclones-red mohawk in the middle of the season.

He’s joined in the backcourt by senior guard Scott Christopherson, who averages 12.5 points per game and shoots at a .450 clip from three-point range.

Chris Allen also averages 11.8 points per game for the Cyclones.

Iowa State owns wins over Kansas and Baylor, both inside Hilton Coliseum.


49th Assists per game (14.6)

53rd Points per game (73.2)

111th Field Goal Percentage (.449)

Stats courtesy


 9 Connecticut (20-13, 8-10 Big East)-UConn isn’t your typical 9-seed. The Huskies are the defending national champions, a preseason top-five team and one of the most talented teams in the country, with two starters who project as eventual lottery picks (Jeremy Lamb, Andre Drummond). Connecticut dropped 9 of 12 games during a recent stretch, but rebounded to knock off West Virginia in the Big East tournament in a game that likely sealed their bid in the NCAAs.

Guard Jeremy Lamb (AP Photo)

UConn also dealt with NCAA sanctions and the absence of its coach, Jim Calhoun, for a nine-game stretch in which the team went 3-6. But the Huskies regressed  from last season in some major areas, mainly due to the loss of All-American guard Kemba Walker. Jeremy Lamb struggled mightily in the lead-dog role, Shabazz Napier struggled handling the offense full-time, and Alex Oriakhi did a disappearing act that was reminiscent of one Bison Dele.

Still, the Huskies played the toughest-rated schedule in America and posted quality wins over Florida State, Notre Dame, and South Florida.

Jeremy Lamb led UConn in scoring at 17.7 points per game. Napier averaged 12.8 points and 5.8 assists per game, and freshman power forward flashed moments of utter brilliance in averaging 10.2 points and 7.7 rebounds per game.


6th Field Goal Percentage Defense (38.3)

30th Rebounding (37.8)

4th Blocks per game (6.9)

PREDICTION: Connecticut 

Stats courtesy

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