As the round of 64 is starting, Big 12 Champs Iowa State will finish out the last of the Thursday games. The Cyclones will be taking on the Mountain West conference champs and 12 seed Nevada in Milwaukee. This game should be high scoring and fast pace, with KenPom statistics showing that Nevada plays the 87th fastest pace in college basketball. That obviously matches Iowa State’s style of running and gunning. They also go toe to toe with Iowa State in 3PT shooting, with Iowa State ranking 12th nationally, meanwhile Nevada ranks 32nd.
This tournament is the last run for this group of Seniors which includes Monte Morris, Naz Mitrou-Long, Matt Thomas, Deonte Burton, Darrell Bowie, and Merrill Holden. It’s been an impressive run, especially for Monte, Matt, and Naz. This group of guys has made the tournament every year they have been here and are looking to reach their 3rd sweet sixteen. But first, they are focused on getting to the Round of 32. Monte Morris stated “We’re not looking over Nevada, we kinda looked over UAB.” ISU will not be overlooking Nevada and are cautious as they prepare.
This team has bigger plans than just winning a game. If the cards align, they have the opportunity to get back to Kansas City and reinvent Hilton South against Kansas. This team can accomplish so much and it all starts tonight with Nevada.
Obviously with the Mountain West championship title, Nevada has some good players. Their team is headlined by forward Cameron Oliver. Martin a potential NBA draft pick, is averaging 15.8 points, and 9 rebounds per game. He loves to crash the offensive glass so Solomon Young and Deonte Burton need to prepare to be in a war downlow. They also have a stellar guard named Marcus Marshall who averages 19.8 points and 3.4 assists per game.
My prediction is that Deonte Burton will play a game for the ages in his return home to Milwaukee. These seniors have been there and done that and don’t have a problem with the trendy upset pick Nevada.
Cyclones 91- Nevada 80