In one of the first official games of the 2015 March Madness online betting season will have the third-seeded Iowa State Cyclones riding a late season hot streak into the NCAA Tournament when they face the 14th-seeded UAB Blazers in a South Region matchup at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville on Thursday.
The Cyclones have won five straight games and are a double-digit 13.5-point favorite over the Blazers. The March Madness oddsmakers aren’t sold on UAB with ISU opening as a 12.5-point favorites.
The clouds aren’t all doom and gloom for the Blazers as a 14 seed has beaten a No. 3 in each of the past 2 seasons (Mercer over Duke in 2014 and Harvard over New Mexico in 2013) and 5 times since 2005. There have been 18 14 over 3 upsets since 1986.
A Closer Look At The UAB V Iowa State Online Betting Odds, Analyzing My Final Score Prediction & How To Watch
Matchup: (14) UAB Blazers vs (3) Iowa State Cyclones
Date: Mar. 19, 2015
Start Time: 12:40 p.m. ET
Location: Louisville, Kentucky
Stadium: KFC Yum! Center
TV Info: truTV
Stream: March Madness Live
Radio: UAB Vs Iowa State
Point Spread: Cyclones -13.5
UAB Will Cover the 13.5-point Spread If
The Blazers defense can slow down Iowa State’s offense.
UAB is an interesting basketball team. The Blazers finished the Conference USA regular season at 19 and 15. But they beat Louisiana Tech, who finished the regular season at 25 and 8, 72 to 62 in overtime and MTU 73 to 60 in the Conference USA Tournament. That’s why UAB gets to face Iowa State in Round 1 of the NCAA Tournament.
UAB’s offense isn’t horrible. The Blazers average 68.9 points from 43% shooting from the field and 33.2% shooting from behind the three-point line. The problem that UAB and its fans are going to have is if the Blazers’ defense can’t stop Iowa State’s run and gun offense. UAB’s defense is allowing 67.7 points from 42% shooting on average. What’s scary is that those averages are against teams like LA Tech and MTU, not teams like Iowa State. If the Blazers defense doesn’t step it up, they’ll have no shot of covering the spread.
2015 UAB Blazers March Madness Starting lineup
- G Robert Brown, 6-5, Jr., 12.8 ppg, 3.7 rpg
- G Hakeem Baxter, 6-2, So., 7.7 ppg, 3.0 rpg
- G Nick Norton, 5-10, Fr., 7.7 ppg, 3.9 apg
- F William Lee, 6-9, Fr., 7.6 ppg, 5.8 rpg
- F Tosin Mehinti, 6-9, So., 7.2 ppg, 4.8 rpg
- Coach: Jerod Haase (second season)
Iowa State Will Cover the 13.5-point Spread If
Iowa State can get out in transition and score easy buckets.
Iowa State surprised many by coming back in the Big 12 Championship game against Kansas for a 70 to 66 win. As a +2.5 point dog, the Cyclones were down in the second half of that matchup before making a furious rally to beat Kansas.
Iowa State won the Big 12 Championship by playing tough defense. They held Kansas to 66 points and 37.7% from the field. The Cyclones outscored the Jayhawks 47 to 29 in the second half. Iowa State is at its best when it can turn good defensive stops into transition baskets, which is what they did versus Kansas throughout the entire second half of that game. If Iowa State is playing tough defense, and converting rebounds and stops into easy buckets on the other end, they should blow out UAB. There are very few teams that can play an up and down game with Iowa State. If Kansas isn’t one of those team, UAB definitely isn’t either
2015 ISU March Madness Starting Lineup
- G Monte Morris, 6-2, So., 11.5 ppg, 5.4 apg
- G Bryce Dejean-Jones, 6-5 Sr. 11.4 ppg, 5.2 rpg
- F Jameel McKay, 6-9, Jr., 11.3 ppg, 7.2 rpg
- F Dustin Hogue, 6-6, Sr., 10.1 ppg, 4.8 rpg
- C Georges Niang, 6-8, Jr., 15.2 ppg, 5.4 rpg
- Coach: Fred Hoiberg (fifth season)