In case you didn’t get the memo, the No.12 Arkansas-Little Rock Trojans outlasted the No. 5 Purdue Boilermakers in double-overtime to claim a thrilling 85-83 first round upset win on Thursday at the Pepsi Center for a chance to play in the Round of 32. Up next for the upset-minded Little Rockers is a Saturday clash against the Iowa State Cyclones. Can the Trojans continue their Cinderella run in the NCAA Tournament lines, or will the Cyclones blow past them in this intriguing clash? All you need to know about this game is briefly previewed for you below, including free March Madness picks.
Arkansas-Little Rock vs Iowa State NCAA Tournament Odds
What: Arkansas Little Rock Trojans (30-4) at Iowa State Cyclones (22-11)
When: Saturday, March 19
Start: 6:10 PM ET
Where: Denver, Colorado
Stadium: Pepsi Center
Spread: Iowa State -6
Moneyline: Iowa State -280
Game Total: 145.5
Why Bet on Iowa State
The season numbers–22-11, 16-13-1 ATS–may not tell the story as you’d want to hear it, but the Cyclones have certainly been one of the better teams in the Big 12, if not the country. After respectably losing to Kansas and Oklahoma in the Big Ten Tournament; the Cyclones kick-started their Tourney with a refreshing 94-81 win over the 13th-seeded Iona.
There are many factors working in the Cyclones’ favor this season, but if I was to single the most important one, it would be their fluid offense that is averaging a whopping 81 points per game (15th best in the nation) to go along with 16.5 assists per game (23rd best in the nation). Against Iona, for example, all of Iowa State’s starters scored in double digits, paced by the Cyclones’ season-leading scorer Georges Niang, who torched the Gaels for 28 points on Thursday. If Niang and Co. can bring this offense to Saturday’s game, it almost certainly looks like Arkansas and its Trojan Tourney horse will be crawling back to the Little Rock where the team came from.
Why Bet on Arkansas-Little Rock
You are excused if you don’t know much about the Trojans before now, but after their masterpiece Josh Hagins-led performance against the fifth-ranked Purdue, you will only have yourself to blame if you don’t pay attention to them. Spotting a stellar 30-4 SU and 20-10-0 ATS record on the season, the Trojans have been the definition of dominance in the Sun Belt region, and going by what they did to Purdue, they want to make a lasting impression in the Tourney.
I cannot tell you how far the Trojans will go, but I will tell you that if they play in the same manner they did when they erased a 13-point deficit to force two OTs and eventually stun Purdue, they will most certainly be able to stick it to Iowa in a similar way.
Expert March Madness Betting Predictions and Picks
Beating Purdue was a big deal, and congratulations are fully deserved for the Trojans. Unfortunately for them, the high-scoring Cyclones are on high-alert, which means Iowa State is likely to start this game strongly, pushing the pace to stay as far away from the Little Rockers. So, although the Trojans’ three-quarter and half-court pressure may help keep the Cyclones within distance in the second half, I see Iowa State (which is 4-0 ATS in its last 4 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record and 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games overall) doing enough to walk away with the win and cover of the spread.
Iowa State Cyclones 76, Arkansas-Little Rock Trojans 68