Northern Iowa Panthers (8-2; 3-3 ATS; 2-4 O/U) vs. Iowa State Cyclones (7-2; 2-5-1 ATS; 4-4 O/U)
The Iowa State Cyclones will look to extend their winning streak to eight games when they host the Northern Iowa Panthers Saturday afternoon from the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, IA. The Panthers handled division III Dubuque by an 80-47 score in their previous contest, and the Cyclones are coming off an easy 78-58 victory against Alcorn State. These teams last met in 2015 in a contest Northern Iowa won by an 81-79 score.
Panthers Cruise to Third Straight Win
The Northern Iowa Panthers enter this one on a three game winning streak which included an easy 80-47 win over division III Dubuque in their previous action. The Panthers shot 48% in the lopsided win, and held Dubuque to a 27% clip. Panthers’ top scorer Bennett Koch led the offensive charge with 12 points on a perfect 6 for 6 effort from the free-throw line and collected seven rebounds. The 6-foot-10 senior forward features a stellar 60% field goal percentage, and is now posting 15.1 points per game. Klint Carlson chipped in with four points in minimal playing time in the win as the Panthers used their entire bench against the weak opponent. Carlson is third in team scoring with 9.8 points along with an average of 5.7 rebounds.
The Panthers have responded nicely from their 64-50 loss to Villanova with three straight wins. Their only other defeat this season was a loss to a ranked Tar Heels team. They are currently placed at 80th in the Country in Ken Pomeroy’s College Basketball Rankings. Northern Iowa is scoring an average of 69 points, ranking them down at 291st overall. They are one of the strongest defensive teams in the Nation, holding opponents to an average of only 57.3 points, placing them third in the Country.
Cyclones Handle Alcorn State in Seventh Straight Victory
The Iowa State Cyclones continued their winning ways with a solid 78-58 home win against Alcorn State in their previous game last weekend. The Cyclones were not at their best offensively, shooting a weak 40% from the field, while holding Alcorn State to a 41% clip. Cyclones’ leading scorer Donovan Jackson led the offensive charge with a 25-point effort on an 8 for 22 mark from the field. The senior guard is an elite talent, scoring at least 24 points in five out of his last seven games, and is now up to 17.3 points per game and is a 96% free-throw shooter. Lindell Wigginton contributed with 16 points on 4 for 10 shooting in the win over Alcorn State. The freshman guard is a huge threat from deep, sporting a 49% success rate from three-point range, and is now posting 16.2 points per game.
The Cyclones have been productive offensively in their current seven game winning streak which included a win over rival Iowa last week along with a victory over a strong Boise State team. They are a strong three-point shooting team and are currently placed at 64th overall in Ken Pomeroy’s College Basketball Rankings. Iowa State is scoring an average of 77.8 points per game, ranking them 133rd overall. They are conceding an average of 72.1 points, positioning them 186th overall.
The Northern Iowa Panthers are:
- 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games against Iowa State.
- 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games after allowing less than 50 points in their previous game.
- 10-1 ATS in their last 11 games against Big 12 opponents.
The Iowa State Cyclones are:
- 3-9-1 ATS in their last 13 non-conference games.
- 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games against MVC opponents.
I am siding with Northern Iowa in this matchup. Northern Iowa is one of the better defensive teams in the Country as they are only allowing an average of 57 points, and are limiting opponents to 35.7% shooting, so they should contain the Cyclones scoring. Furthermore, Iowa State is subpar defensively, so I am confident the Panthers can have a strong night in the offensive end. Northern Iowa has defeated some strong teams this season including SMU and UNLV while Iowa State has mostly had an easy schedule.