Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#631 Iowa -5.5 vs.
#632 Northwestern 143
Tuesday, January 14, 2020 at 8:00pm EST
Written by Chris Kubala

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#631 University of Iowa
#632 Northwestern University
11-5
6-9
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A pair of Big Ten foes take the floor in the Land of Lincoln in search of a conference victory. The Iowa Hawkeyes are on the road as they make the trip to face the Northwestern Wildcats Tuesday night. Iowa earned a 67-49 home win over #12 Maryland in their last game Friday night. Northwestern claimed a 62-57 home win over Nebraska in their last game Saturday afternoon. The Hawkeyes own a 91-32 edge in the all-time series and have won the last three meetings, including an 80-79 home win in the most recent meeting on February 10, 2019.

Iowa Hawkeyes Look to Even Conference Mark

Iowa snapped a two-game slide as they upended #12 Maryland at home on Friday night. The Hawkeyes now look for back to back conference wins, which would even their conference mark. Iowa used a 19-2 first half run to take a 29-17 lead and held Maryland at arm’s length the rest of the way in the contest. The Hawkeyes were up 14 at the half and led by as many as 22 while not seeing their lead drop below 10 in the second half. Iowa shot 37.7 percent from the field, including nine of 23 from three-point range, and won the rebounding battle 44-32 to overcome 18 turnovers. Joe Wieskamp led the Hawkeyes with 26 points and 11 rebounds.

The Hawkeyes are putting up an average of 79.6 points a night on the season, putting them 33rd in the nation. Iowa is collecting 39.2 boards a night while they are handing out 17.8 assists (10th) per game. The Hawkeyes are 197th in scoring defense by allowing 69.4 points a night. Luka Garza is pouring in 22 points plus 10.8 rebounds a night to lead the Hawkeyes. Joe Wieskamp (14.8 points, 6.2 rebounds) and CJ Fredrick (10.3 points, 2.9 assists) are averaging in double figures. Jordan Bohannon, Connor McCaffery, Joe Toussaint, Ryan Kriener and Jack Nunge are all good pieces for coach Fran McCaffery to work with in his rotation. Iowa is shooting 45.3 percent from the field this season. The Hawkeyes are knocking down 34.7 percent of their attempts from long range while sinking 8.1 triples a night. Iowa has been mediocre at the charity stripe, cashing in 71.6 percent of their chances at the line.

Northwestern Wildcats Try for Back to Back Wins

Northwestern snapped a five-game losing skid as they took down Nebraska at home Saturday afternoon. That proved to be Northwestern’s first conference win of the year as they are tied for the basement in the Big Ten with a 1-4 mark. The Wildcats used a 17-3 run in the first half to take a 34-19 lead and took control of the game. Northwestern led by 15 at the half and didn’t let Nebraska closer than three, with that coming in the final minute of the contest. The Wildcats shot 39.7 percent from the field, including 10 of 29 from three-point range, and held Nebraska to 31.3 percent shooting. Miller Kopp led Northwestern with 15 points in the contest.

The Wildcats enter this contest 325th in scoring offense by putting up 66.8 points per game on the year. Northwestern is 278th in rebounding with 34.8 boards a night while ranking 137th by dishing out 14.2 assists a game. The Wildcats are solid on the defensive end of the floor, ranking 95th in scoring defense as they allow 65.7 points per contest. Miller Kopp leads the team with 12.8 points plus 3.7 rebounds a night on the season. Pat Spencer (10.8 points, 3.9 assists), Ryan Young (10.1 points, 6.9 rebounds) and Boo Buie (10.8 points) are also averaging in double figures for the Wildcats. Pete Nance, Anthony Gaines, Robbie Beran and A.J. Turner are capable rotation pieces for Northwestern this season. The Wildcats shoot 42.4 percent from the field on the season. Northwestern knocks down 6.3 triples per game while shooting only 31.3 percent from beyond the arc. The Wildcats have been terrific at the free throw line, converting 75.5 percent of their chances at the line this season.

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Northwestern picked up their first conference win in their last contest but that was over a Nebraska team that struggled to shoot the ball. The Hawkeyes are a dangerous offensive team and they will make life tough for the Wildcats’ defense. Garza leads the nation with seven 20/10 games already this season and he’ll pound inside. Wieskamp had a huge game against Maryland and that duo is going to be difficult to stop. Even with this game in Evanston, you have to fade the Wildcats due to their inconsistency. Iowa gets the nod behind Garza’s big night.

Prediction: Iowa Hawkeyes -5.5

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Iowa is an explosive offensive team that can put points on the board quickly. The Garza/Wieskamp duo is a dangerous one that Northwestern has to respect. Northwestern is 123rd in field goal percentage defense (41 percent) on the year. Iowa likes to play at a decent pace, ranking 108th in tempo with 73.1 possessions per game. Northwestern is tied for 282nd in tempo as they average 69.3 possessions a night. The Wildcats are your quintessential grinder team as they are 254th in field goal percentage and 271st in three-point percentage this season. We saw them struggle to break the 60-point barrier against Nebraska. Don't expect a ton more here, ensuring this one falls under the total.

Prediction: Under 144.5
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Written By Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in-depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. Now he is writing for our team here at Winners @ Whiners. Chris keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college. He is also very knowledgeable in the NHL, the NBA, college basketball and MLB. If you want consistency, then be sure and check out Chris’ content daily.