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Pittsburgh vs Iowa State Odds & Predictions for March Madness Round of 64

Daniel Coyle

by Daniel Coyle in College Basketball

Updated Mar 16, 2023 · 12:18 PM PDT

Pittsburgh Panthers guards Nike Sibande and Greg Elliott celebrate a win
Mar 14, 2023; Dayton, OH, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers guard Nike Sibande (22) and guard Greg Elliott (3) celebrate defeating Mississippi State Bulldogs at UD Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
  • The Pittsburgh Panthers take on the Iowa State Cyclones in Midwest Region first-round action at Greensboro Coliseum
  • Pittsburgh is coming off a First Four win over Mississippi State while ISU seeks its third win in four games
  • Read on for all the Pittsburgh vs Iowa State odds, picks and betting trends ahead of Friday afternoon’s matchup 

The Pittsburgh Panthers aim to build on a thrill 60-59 win over Mississippi State in First Four action when they hit the floor to face the Iowa State Cyclones on Friday in Midwest Region First Round action. Tuesday’s victory puts the brakes on a shaky 1-3 SU run that left the Panthers positioned squarely on the bubble going into Selection Sunday. However, the 11th-seeded Panthers must still overcome their current 1-2 SU run in First Round appearances at the NCAA Tournament.

The Cyclones return to March Madness for a second straight year pegged as the No. 6 seed in the Midwest after claiming a share of fifth place in the Big 12 standings with a 9-9 SU record in conference play.

Start time for Friday afternoon’s matchup is set for 3:10pm ET at Greensboro Coliseum, with all the action televised on TruTV.

Pittsburgh vs Iowa State Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
[11] Pittsburgh Panthers +4.5 (-110) +165 O 131 (-110)
[6] Iowa State -5.5 (-110) -195 U 131 (-110)

The Cyclones have emerged as 4.5-point favorites in the college basketball odds, while the Panthers lag as +165 moneyline underdogs. The total is listed at 131.

 

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Pittsburgh vs Iowa State March Madness History

Friday afternoon’s matchup marks the first meeting between these teams since December 1981, and their first ever matchup at the NCAA Tournament. The Panthers recent struggles in the First Round come in the wake of an impressive 9-1 SU run in tournament-opening contests that dated back to 2002. The Cyclones sport a 7-2 SU record over their past First Round outings, but are just 4-3 SU in their past seven while pegged as the higher seed.

Porous Defense Contributing to Panthers’ Woes

After emerging as a threat to challenge for the top of the ACC standings during an impressive midseason 10-2 SU run, the Panthers wilted down the stretch, losing four of their final seven overall contests, capped by a crushing 96-69 loss to Duke in ACC Tournament quarterfinal. Indeed, containing opposing shooters has been a real problem for Pitt, which allowed 81.7 points per game during their 3-4 run.

The Panthers’ defensive woes are reflected in their ranking at No. 136 in adjusted defensive efficiency at Kenpom, This club possesses impressive offensive ability, and averaged 75.6 points per game, but will have to improve on their dismal 38.9% shooting in Tuesday’s win over the Bulldogs. That includes leading scorer Blake Hinson, who mustered just 12 points on Tuesday, and have averaged just 9.7 points over his past three outings.

Have Cyclones Overcome late-Season Slide?

It has been a tale of two seasons for the Cyclones, who opened their campaign on a 15-4 SU overall run that featured wins over No. 1 UNC, No. 12 Baylor, No. 17 TCU, and No. 7 Texas. However, the squad struggled in conference play during the second half of the season, going a meager 4-8 SU over their final 12 conference contests, but redeemed themselves with a Big 12 Tournament march that ended with a 71-58 loss to the regular season champion Kansas Jayhawks.

Still perched at No. 8 in adjusted defensive efficiency at Kenpom, the Cyclones still need to prove they have overcome an offensive swoon, scoring fewer than 60 points in five of their past nine outings. Senior big man Aljaz Kunz has cooled off considerably since averaging 16.7 points during over a three-game stretch last month, tallying just 2,8 points per game over his past six outings. Conversely, senior Gabe Kalscheur has been steady while averaging 14.7 points over his past seven games, and has scored at last 24 in two of his past four appearances.

Pittsburgh vs Iowa State Prediction

While the Cyclones sport an impressive defense, the question remains whether they can generate sufficient offense to keep pace with a Panthers squad that has endured a steady diet of top flight competition this season. Look for Pittsburgh to keep things close in a low-scoring affair.

The Pick: Pittsburgh +4.5 (-110); UNDER 131 (-110)

 


Other March Madness first-round predictions:

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