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Iowa vs. Cincinnati - 3/22/19 NCAA March Madness First Round Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Game
Iowa at Cincinnati
Date & Time Friday March 22, 2019, 12:15 PM (EDT)
Location
Nationwide Arena
Columbus, OH
The Line
Cincinnati Bearcats -3.5 -- O/U: 137.5
TV Channel
CBS
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Rick Osentoskij-USA TODAY Sports

The Iowa Hawkeyes and the Cincinnati Bearcats meet in an NCAA tournament first round matchup in college basketball action from Nationwide Arena on Friday afternoon.

The Iowa Hawkeyes enter the tournament as a #10 seed, finishing the regular season with a record of 22-11, including non-conference wins over Iowa State, Connecticut and Oregon. Iowa finished up conference play with a record of 10-10, good enough to lock up the #6 seed in the conference tournament where the Hawkeyes took down Illinois before falling to Michigan in the quarterfinals. Tyler Cook leads Iowa in scoring and rebounding with 14.9 points and 7.9 rebounds per game while Luka Garza is 2nd in scoring with 12.9 points and Jordan Bohannon is 3rd in scoring and tops in assists with 11.3 points and 3.4 assists per game this season. Joe Wieskamp is Iowa’s 4th double-digit scorer with 10.8 points per game while shooting a team-high 42.2% from 3-point range this season. As a team, Iowa is averaging 78.3 points per game on 45.5% shooting from the field, 36.1% from behind the arc and 74% from the foul line this season.

The Cincinnati Bearcats come into the big dance as a #7 seed, finishing the regular season at 28-6, representing the American as the conference tournament champion. The Bearcats logged non-conference wins over UCLA, Xavier and Ole Miss just to name a few as well as losses to Ohio State and Mississippi State. Cincinnati finished conference play with a mark of 14-4, good enough to lock up the #2 seed in the AAC tournament, defeating SMU and Wichita State before taking down top-seeded Houston in the conference championship game. Jarron Cumberland leads Cincinnati in scoring and assists with 18.8 points and 3.6 assists per game while Keith Williams is the only other double-digit scorer for the Bearcats with 10.1 points per game. Tre Scott is averaging 9.3 points along with a team-high 6.9 rebounds per game this season. As a team, Cincinnati is averaging 71.7 points per game on 43.2% shooting from the field, 35% from behind the arc and 70.4% from the foul line this season.

Iowa is 1-9 ATS in their last 10 games overall and 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games against a team with a winning record while the under is 4-1-1 in their last 6 neutral site games. Cincinnati is 2-9 ATS in their last 11 games overall and 1-7 ATS in their last 8 games against a team with a winning record while the under is 10-4-1 in their last 15 neutral site games.

I’d like to give Iowa a shot as an underdog here, but I just don’t think we are getting enough points to make it even worth taking a chance on Iowa here. Cincinnati is the far better team on defense, and while Iowa is the better team on offense, the Hawkeyes just have dry spells where the shots just aren’t falling and stuff like that won’t fly against a Cincinnati team that can stifle you and put points up on the other end. I just think Cincinnati is the better team here and we aren’t being asked to give up anything crazy, so I’ll lay the points with the Bearcats here.

Pick:
Cincinnati -3.5

Chris has been a sports fan from when he was old enough to pick up a basketball and was a standout offensive lineman throughout high school and college. Chris uses that same instinct, determination and drive to analyze trends and statistics to find and produce winners on a consistent basis. Chris has been writing for Sports Chat Place since 2016 and covers a wide array of sports from college and pro football, college basketball, hockey and baseball.

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