Friday, March 28, 2014

Predictions for a Sweet Sixteen

Iowa State made it through the first round of the big tournament, not unscathed, but victorious.  ISU turned a close game against NCCU into a blowout and a close loss against UNC into a win.

I've reviewed a couple of the predictions I wrote last year and I'm excited to recap this year but it'll have to wait.  The Cyclones still have more games to win. 

For my preview of the Cyclones SWEET SIXTEEN matchup I'll play off a few of the things I've read lately.  A few of my favorite gems from that "other" Cyclones site.

He is a NBA style coach who makes great in-game adjustments and exploits mismatches.
Kevin Ollie is the same style coach who also has a ton of NBA experience.. The chess match between these coaches is one of the biggest aspect of the game. -some UCONN fan
Here's the deal, a few years ago I would have agreed.  I didn't think Fred would be able to coach.  Last year I might have agreed it would be a fair matchup.  This year?  Fred will abuse Ollie.  Ollie's in his second year coaching.  Fred's in his fourth year going on 34th.  Sure they both had extended NBA careers as role players.  And of course they're buddies who are the exact same age.  But the similarities stop there.  I was yelling for a timeout at the end of the UNC game but ISU didn't need it, everyone already knew what the play was going to be.  Fred has taken his knack for imbound plays and extended it to all of coaching.

One fact the many Iowa State fans might not know.. 3 of UCONN's starters have won a National Championship and have big game experience these are Seniors who have been through the wars, they are not 19 yo. one and done players... Not like the in-fighting babies you whoped up on in 2012.

So I looked it up.  One of those 3 starters (Napier) started that game in 2012.  Boatwright played 26 minutes.  And those "babies" who started are now three players in the NBA.  In the words of Coach Orr "And we kicked your ass!"

I'm sure Napier and Boatwright are better players as upperclassmen.  But I'll bet that Fred's team is better than two years ago too, even without Niang. 

I saw a shot chart for Napier, look for Monte or Naz to shade him hard to his left to force him right.  Hopefully he takes pull ups off this instead of finding teammates. 

ISU wins and it isn't all that close.  The Cyclones knock down shots at the beginning of the game for a change, stretch it to a double digit lead, let it slack a little bit to start the second and finish the game out strong for a win about like 2012.  They take the crowd out early and keep them out of it.  80-68.

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