Iowa State Cyclones vs. Ohio State Buckeyes Pick

March 22, 9:50 PM EDT

Betting Odds

Point Spread: 
Iowa State -5

No. 6 Iowa State will take on No. 11 Ohio State in the first round of this year’s NCAA Tournament. The Cyclones carry plenty of swagger and momentum heading into Friday’s matchup in Tulsa, Oklahoma. But which side of the Cyclones will we see step on the floor against the Buckeyes – the one that lost their final three games of the regular season and six of its final eight, or the squad that swept through the Big 12 tournament last week in impressive fashion? Iowa State is -5.5 over Ohio State.

Iowa State (23-11) drew the sixth seed in the Midwest Region, while Ohio State (19-14) is the 11th seed after losing to Michigan State in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten tournament. The Cyclones got back to their championship mindset in Kansas City, reeling off three straight wins, including a 78-66 victory over Kansas in the finals to clinch their fourth conference tournament title in six years.

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Talley Playing Huge

Senior Zoran Talley missed all three of Iowa State’s games in the Big 12 tournament after entering the concussion protocol last week. He is expected to return to practice Tuesday, Prohm said.

Iowa State is doing all that they can this week to prepare for the Buckeyes and their physicality, but Cyclones coach Steve Prohm said his team has to "be who we are."

“If we’re who we are, then we’ll have a good chance to do some good things, regardless of where we play or who we play,” Prohm told the Ames (Iowa) Tribune. “The Big Ten… a little bit different style of play. It’s a game that we’ve got to match the physicality around the basket. We’ve got to match their toughness.”

Iowa State has made it to the NCAA Tournament seven times in the past eight seasons. If the Cyclones advance to the Sweet 16, they will return to the Sprint Center, site of the Big 12 tournament, next week.

"The experience in Kansas City helps the young kids already understand the tournament atmosphere," Prohm told the Ames Tribune. "We've been through that this week, so I Think the guys – young and old – are used to that. There should be some nerves. It's a big-time deal, being a part of the NCAA Tournament."

Holtmann Looking to Get Hot

The Buckeyes, led by second-year coach Chris Holtmann, will make their 33rd all-time appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

After winning 12 of their first 13 games of the season, the Buckeyes lost straight, ending the season with an 8-12 record in Big Ten play.

“We have had our struggles, we have, there’s no doubting that, and we all take responsibility for that,” Holtmann said. “But we have also won some games, and we won some important games.”

Kaleb Wesson leads Ohio State with 14.4 points and 6.8 rebounds per game, while C.J. Jackson adds 12.2 points per game and a team-best 113 total assists for the Buckeyes.

Jackson feels the Buckeyes can do some damage in the “Big Dance.”

"We're not here just to play one game in the tournament, we're here actually to win some games and make a run," he said.

Iowa State vs Ohio State Prediction 03/22/2019

What a game this should be. Two power conference teams. In the end, the shooting of Iowa State gets the job done.

Free Pick: 
Bet the Cyclones -5

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