Can the fairy tale continue for yet another season? VCU is at it again, and now they have the Big Ten’s Indiana Hoosiers in their sites. Meanwhile, that team that plays in the SEC will tip-off against Royce White and the Iowa State Cyclones soon.
#4 Indiana vs. #12 Virginia Commonwealth, 7:10 in Portland (TBS). Here they come again, the VCU Rams. The key, and we saw it again with Wichita State for the first 25 minutes, is that these teams cannot get caught up in VCU’s game. Easier said than done. They trap, they speed you up, make it a mistake game. Indiana can dominate if they set up in half court, pound it inside to Cody Zeller, Victor Oladipo and Christian Watford, and get Burgess and Reddic in foul trouble. VCU is not a good half court offensive team, but if they can dictate this into a frenetic game, they have a chance.
The Line: Indiana by 6. The Pick: I’m not going against VCU with a fair amount of points. VCU +6.
#1 Kentucky vs. #8 Iowa State, 7:45 in Louisville (CBS). I’m not saying this will be an upset. Kentucky is the better team. I am going to say if Kentucky doesn’t play well, they can lose because of how Iowa State plays. Royce White is a big man who can come outside and play point forward, drive, and dish to several shooters. Iowa State shoots threes as well as anyone, and as often. Who will mark White? Do they put Davis on him, where White can pull him away? or Terrence Jones?
It’s the other side of the ball where Kentucky should make hay. Iowa State does two things well, extend and defend threes, and with White, control boards. However, they do not have a lot of length on the front line and teams can have success inside. Pound it inside and don’t get caught up in a three point contest with Iowa State.
The Line: Kentucky by 11. The Pick: Hoiberg is an NBA guy, a matchup guy, and I will be interested in seeing how he attacks depending on who Davis is guarding. I like Iowa State +11, but for the upset to happen, Kentucky is going to have to be cold from outside on offense.