NCAA Tournament First Round: (2) Iowa (21-8) vs (15) Grand Canyon (17-6) prediction and college basketball game preview.
Iowa vs Grand Canyon Broadcast
Date: Saturday, March 20
Game Time: 6:25 pm ET
Venue: Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Indianapolis, IN
Iowa vs Grand Canyon Game Preview
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Why Grand Canyon Will Win
It’s only the ninth year of basketball at the big level for Grand Canyon – by the way, it’s in Phoenix with a massive enrollment – with head coach Bryce Drew putting together a solid team with a nasty defense in his first season at the helm.
The Antelopes have two huge problems for Iowa – 7-0 Asbjorn Midtgaard and 6-10 Alessandro Lever. The two rebound absolutely everything and provide a good scoring punch on the inside – Luke Garza isn’t going to push around either of these two.
There’s scoring pop, but the team relies on rebounding from its big men, a tough inside presence, and the second-best field goal defense in college basketball behind only Houston.
Early in the season there was a win over Nevada, a tough 71-70 loss to Arizona State, and a loss to Colorado, and in all three games the Antelopes won the rebounding battle.
Why Iowa Will Win
For all of the good things Grand Canyon does defensively, it doesn’t do a lot to force mistakes. It’s D is about locking up the interior with its big guys and getting medieval on three point shooters. Iowa, though, knows how to move the ball around.
The Hawkeyes lead the nation in assists, it has the ability to score inside and out, and beyond Garza, there’s enough size to be able to handle the bulk in the interior. They’ll move the ball around, they’ll get the open shots, and they’ll at least be even in the rebounding margin.
They’ll be bothered by the Antelope D, but they’ve been playing stronger defense over the second half of the season to go along with their scoring punch.
What’s Going To Happen
Iowa has to be patient.
It has the right makeup to handle what Grand Canyon does defensively, but it can’t get frustrated when it doesn’t pull away early and there are a whole lot of empty first half possessions.
Only two teams were able to hit 40% or better from three against the Antelopes, and Colorado and Utah Valley both won. Grand Canyon is 1-4 against teams that shoot better than 36% from three, but that’s not a given for the Hawkeyes even though the average hitting 38% a game.
This will be closer than everyone might like, but the Hawkeyes will pull away late.
Iowa vs Grand Canyon Prediction, Line
Iowa 78, Grand Canyon 66
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Line: Iowa -14.5, o/u: 145
ATS Confidence out of 5: 3.5
Must See Rating: 3
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