Reasons Iowa State Can Make a Run to the Sweet 16
It’s March Madness time, the time when every game matters for every team still in the battle. It doesn’t matter if you’re a 1 seed or a 16 seed, from this point on losses knock you out.
March Madness is the most exciting time of the year and it never disappoints. There is guaranteed to be at least one buzzer beater, players making names for themselves, players stepping up when it counts, Cinderellas shocking the world and a champion being crowned.
Every team needs to play the best games it has played all season to avoid stumbling on this year’s Cinderella. There is no room for mistakes. The stakes are as high as they will get all year. Who will stumble early? Who will advance further than expected? What will Bob Knight throw onto the floor? What story lines will develop as we progress deeper into the tournament?
With so many questions left unanswered, we have only one more night to wait before it all tips off. The play-in games are nearly complete. All of the action begins tomorrow night.
The beauty of college basketball is that once a team is in, wins will advance them. It doesn’t matter whether you should be there or not, you have the opportunity to upset anyone.
The Iowa State Cyclones have the matchups and talent to be able to make a run into the Sweet Sixteen this year. While they may not be as flashy as Kansas or Michigan, they certainly have a bright side to their game.
By looking at their strengths, I will prove why Iowa State can advance much further than anyone may think.
Here are the five Reasons Iowa State can make a run to the Sweet Sixteen.
Three Point Shooting
Iowa State is currently ranked fourth in points scored per game. The Cyclones have made 325 three point field goals this year, roughly 9.8 per game. This is better than the second place Canisius Golden Griffins, who have sank 286 three point field goals.
The Element of Surpise
Not many teams are giving Iowa State too hard of a look. While it isn’t being completely ignored, it isn’t receiving the attention that a team of its caliber should be receiving. This will play a big part in Iowa State’s Sweet Sixteen run.
They are Under-Seeded
Iowa State finished 2013 with a record of 22-11 overall, and 11-7 in the Big 12. The team on paper deserves the seed it has.
On the court, however, Iowa State plays well enough to have been a seven or eight seed. This could make a difference starting tomorrow.
Strength of Schedule
Iowa State finished the season with an RPI of 33. Its conference RPI was 22. It played a number six team twice in the Kansas Jayhawks, a number 11 and 13 in the Kansas State Wildcats and a number 13 in the Oklahoma State Cowboys.
They are more than prepared to face some strong talent.
Iowa State could potentially get the right matchups to allow them to advance to the Sweet Sixteen. The first round opponent for the Cyclones is the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. The Irish are only a 7 seed, and the 10 seed beats a ten seed roughly 40 percent of the time, which is relatively high.
After that, they will most likely have the Ohio State Buckeyes, who in my opinion are overrated. Many feel as though Ohio State is ranked too high and could stumble against the right team. Enter Iowa State.
After that, it will play either New Mexico, Harvard, Arizona or Belmont. All of these teams are teams that Iowa State could contend with.
Reasons the Belmont Bruins Can Make a Run to the Sweet 16
It’s March, which means one thing, March Madness! It’s tournament time, a time where teams enter knowing one loss will end the season. One loss will end everything they have trained for since August. It means college basketball is over for the parties involved.
March Madness guarantees a number of things. There will almost certainly be at least one buzzer beater, probably many more, a few Cinderella teams, players standing out for their respective teams and some of the best games we’ll see all season.
Speaking specifically of Cinderella teams, there’s a little school in the Ohio Valley Conference by the name of Belmont Bruins that has the potential to make a deep run in the NCAA tournament.
They shoot better than mostly everyone in the country and they score often. This is a team that is much more talented than anyone may know. They performed exceptionally well in the OVC championship game, which was one of the greatest games of the 2013 college basketball season.
The only real weakness the Bruins have is rebounding, as they are ranked 276 in the country in rebounding. Here’s the thing though, when you have the fourth best shooting percentage in the country, you don’t have to rebound a lot. You can get by without having the greatest rebounding team in the country.
Belmont has the potential to do some damage and catch a few teams sleeping early in the tournament. If they get the right matchups, they could join their OVC brethren, the Murray State racers and the Morehead State Eagles as notable Cinderellas of the past few seasons.
In addition to the reasons on this list, every team can always use a bit of luck during the NCAA tournament. Here are the five reasons Belmont could make a Sweet 16 run.
The OVC Causes Fits for Opponents
Last year, it was Murray State. The year before, it was Morehead State. The OVC has consistently cranked out Cinderella teams that have upset the big boys in the tournament.
This year, Belmont will sneak in and do damage.
The Are Conference Champions
Conference champions know that they are lucky to be in the tournament. These teams play harder and stronger than any others. The drive behind these teams is insane.
Belmont has the drive and motivation to advance deep into the tournament.
If the Slipper Fits...
Cinderella teams gain momentum early and continue through the tournament gathering the emotion and support of the entire country.
If Belmont wins in the first round, they could very easily springboard off of that momentum all the way into the Sweet 16.
Field Goal Shooting
Belmont is currently ranked fourth in the nation in field goal percentage. Simply put, they don’t miss often.
This team shoots well, and can cause a fit for any team they play.
Arizona is ranked 47th in points per game, 99th in rebounds per game and 84th in field goal percentage.
Belmont is ranked significantly higher in all three categories. The stats are in Belmont’s favor throughout the first few rounds of the tournament.
The Michigan Wolverines enter the NCAA Tournament as a four seed. Once upon a time, in 2013, the Michigan Wolverines were ranked number one in the country. It took 16 games for the Wolverines to get their first loss of the college basketball season against the Ohio State Buckeyes, and even that loss was only [...]
The No. 3 Kansas Jayhawks are in Morgantown, WV to face off against the lowly West Virginia Mountaineers tonight in a Big 12 conference game. On paper, it appears as though the Jayhawks, who are 18-1 (6-0 in Big 12 play), could win the game easily with their players’ arms tied behind their backs. The [...]
Five Things With More Scoring Than WVU vs. Texas Basketball
Earlier tonight, the WVU Mountaineers and the Texas Longhorns squared off against each other in Austin. At halftime, the score was a weak 21-24 in the favor of Texas. The teams picked up the play in the second half, but still missed an extremely large number of shots and ended the game with a score of 57-53, much lower than most basketball scores, and this was an overtime game.
They couldn’t hit free throws, layups, three pointers or anything.
In fact, there were a number of football games this season with more scoring than this basketball game. The game itself came out very close with the Mountaineers overcoming a 13 point spread to make it a game again.
Off of the top of my head, I could think of a number of games of all different sports with more points scored than this one.
For example, a soccer team once got angry with poor officiating an put the ball in the back of its own net 149 times until it lost 149-0.
The list I’ve compiled contains a few extreme cases, but most are legitimate results of games. WVU shot 24 percent in the first half of the game, and Texas shot somewhere in the 40s.
This list is supposed to be funny. I hope you get at least a chuckle out of it.
Here are five things with as much scoring than tonight’s pitiful basketball game.
WVU vs. Texas Women's Basketball
The West Virginia vs. Texas Women’s basketball game earlier today ended with a final score of 53-49. At halftime, the score was 26-20. The men needed overtime to surpass the Women's score.
High School Softball
On May 11, 2012, Cuyama Valley (Calif.) beat High Coast Union (Calif.) High 48-47 in thirteen innings. WVU and Texas had nearly half of that at halftime, and ended with slightly more than that.
In 2011, USA and Italy played a volleyball match in which the final score was 41-39 in the favor of Italy. These guys could give the Mountaineers and Longhorns a run for their money.
WVU vs. Texas Football
The final score of the WVU and Texas football game earlier this year was 48-45. The basketball game ended 57-53, in the same ballpark.
Dwyane Wade's First Semester in College
If you need to read this slide for an explanation then just let it go. You’ll get it later. WVU and Texas put up one of the worst shooting performances I’ve seen in a while.
The West Virginia Mountaineers enter another basketball season with a relatively young team. WVU’s starting lineup consists of two juniors and three sophomores, and only three of the five were starters last season (Deniz Kilicili, Aaron Brown, Jabarie Hinds). The Mountaineers lost senior forward Kevin Jones, who led the Big East in points per game [...]