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Tennessee Volunteers vs. Iowa Hawkeyes Pick-Odds-Prediction 3/19/14

Iowa Hawkeyes (20-12) at Tennessee Volunteers (21-12)

College Basketball: Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at 9:10 pm (University of Dayton Arena)

The Line: Tennessee Volunteers -1 -- Over/Under: 143 See the Latest Odds


The Tennessee Volunteers play the Iowa Buckeyes in the first round of the NCAA tournament on Wednesday.

Tennessee finished 21-12 overall on the regular season. The Volunteers are back in the NCAAs for the first time since 2011 after taking care of business down the stretch and flaunting a 35-point victory over ACC champion Virginia in December. Tennessee makes its 20th appearance after winning six of its last eight and the Volunteers gave No. 1 Florida trouble in the SEC semifinals. Tennessee has leaned on its defense of late, allowing 47.4 points per game in the last five contests. The Vols are one of the best teams in the country when it comes to rebounding the basketball. McRae averages 18.6 points and has made 75 from 3-point range while Jarnell Stokes has scored in double figures the last 15 games to boast averages of 14.7 points and a team-best 10.3 rebounds overall. Jeronne Maymon averages 10.1 points for the Volunteers and shoots 52.9 percent from the field. The Volunteers did not trail in five straight games before losing 56-49 to Florida on Saturday.

Tennessee Volunteers vs. Iowa Hawkeyes Pick-Odds-Prediction 3/19/14

Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Iowa finished the regular season with a 20-12 overall record. Iowa dropped six of its last seven before getting its first bid since 2006. Iowa is in the NCAA tournament for the 23rd time and will be looking for its first win since 2001. Devyn Marble has not slumped along with the Hawkeyes, scoring at least 20 points in six of his last seven games to raise his season average to 17.3, and he has drained 101 from 3-point range in the last two seasons. Aaron White gives Iowa an inside force, averaging 13 points, 6.7 rebounds and leading the Big Ten in field goal percentage (59.2). The Hawkeyes will have to get production from others and can depend on good distribution from point guard Mike Gesell, who led the league in assist-turnover ratio at 124-to-42. The Hawkeyes have averaged 82 points per game for the season, 10th best in the nation. The Hawkeyes are also one of the best teams in the country when it comes to rebounding the basketball.

Two teams that ended the regular season going in different directions meet when Iowa faces Tennessee on Wednesday in Dayton to start play in the NCAA tournament’s Midwest Regional. I think Iowa will fail to find their rhythm on offense because of the excellent defense Tennessee brings to the floor. Meanwhile, Iowa will not be able to contain the size and athleticism that Tennessee has in the frontcourt. The Vols will get the win and the cover on Wednesday.

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