After losing to a surging Penn State team in the 2nd round of the Big Ten Tournament, the Iowa Hawkeyes will look to get back on track against the Davidson Wildcats out of the Atlantic 10. Davidson is coming off a tough loss of their own, 93-73 against VCU in the A-10 semifinals. Both teams had a long winning streak heading into those losses, Davidson a 10 game winning streak and Iowa with a 6 game winning streak. They will face off far from home in Seattle, Washington.
When Iowa Has The Ball
Iowa is led offensively by forwards Aaron White (16 PPG, 7.5 RPG) and Jarrod Uthoff (12.3 PPG, 6.3 RPG). Iowa should be looking to push the ball inside to White and Uthoff, as well as centers Gabriel Olaseni and Adam Woodbury. They hold a distinct size advantage over Davidson in this matchup, and they need to take advantage of it. One of Davidson's main objectives inside will be to clean up rebounds on the defensive end. They need to limit Iowa's second chance points to win this game.
When Davidson Has The Ball
The Wildcats have four players who average at least 10 points a game, led by Tyler Kalinoski (17 PPG) and Jack Gibbs (16.3 PPG). Davidson likes to push the ball, so look for them to try to turn this game into a track meet to negate some of Iowa's size. Davidson is one of the best three point shooting teams in the nation, shooting nearly 40% as a team. Kalinoski is responsible for a large amount of this shooting. He shoots almost 7 three pointers a game, and he connects on 43% of those attempts. Gibbs isn't too shabby himself, he shoots 44% from three. Davidson also has Peyton Aldridge, who shoots almost 40% from three. If you haven't noticed a pattern, they like to shoot. A lot. As a team they jack up over 27 three point attempts a game, 10 more than the Iowa Hawkeyes. It's live by the three, die by the three for a Davidson, and if they catch fire, Iowa will have to watch out.
Davidson is 2nd in the nation in limiting turnovers, but they don't often play teams that have Iowa's length and size. Iowa will have to protect the ball themselves and get into passing lanes to force turnovers. I'm going to go with Uthoff as the x-factor as he will be charged with defending Kalinoski. Uthoff has 5 inches on Kalinoski, so it may be tough for him to get off shots over Uthoff. Iowa's length in general may give Davidson problems on the outside. Iowa's starters have a combined 26 inch edge over the Davidson starters.\
What America Thinks
Right now, Iowa is favored by 2 points, and KenPom favors Iowa by 1 with Iowa having a 54% chance of winning. 53% of Yahoo Sports users picked Iowa. The 7 seed has historically won 61% of games against the 10 seed. So by all accounts, this game should be entertaining, and the clash of size and styles is an interesting subplot in this one. The winner will face off against the winner of the Gonzaga/North Dakota St. game.