Nebraska vs #5 Iowa Road to March Madness

Nebraska vs #5 Iowa Road to March Madness | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Fifth-ranked Iowa can’t win the Big Ten regular-season title, but the Hawkeyes can still finish as high as second – which is important for conference tournament seeding. They will be huge favorites Thursday on the NCAAB odds against a bad Nebraska side. Iowa is +1600 to win the national title.

How to Bet Nebraska at Iowa NCAA Basketball Odds & TV Info

Last Meeting

It’s the only scheduled meeting of the season – they were to play on Jan. 24 but it was postponed. Last year, they split two games. Iowa rolled in the home meeting 96-72. Joe Weiskamp had 30 points on 10-for-15 shooting and Luke Garza 22. The Hawkeyes opened the second half with a 25-8 run to put the game away.

Why Bet on Nebraska? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

The Huskers (7-17) announced that leading scorer Teddy Allen left the team early Monday yet then went out and upset visiting Rutgers 72-51 as 9-point underdogs. The Huskers shot 51 percent compared to the Scarlet Knights’ 38 percent shooting to seal the win.  It was basically over at the half with the Huskers up 43-25.

“I thought we had our two practices coming into this game, I thought our guys were locked in,” Coach Steve Pikiell said. “And we didn’t play that way. We have to be a lot better. A tip of the hat to Nebraska, they’ve been playing well and in a good rhythm. Lat Mayen starts off the game and makes every three, that gets them off to a good start. They took us out of what we wanted to do. Now, we have four days to get ready now for Minnesota on their Senior Day.”

Lat Mayen had a career-high 25 points for the Huskers. Mayen hit 9-for-11 from the field, including 5-of-7 from 3-point range, as Nebraska led wire to wire. He had 20 of his points in the first half. Mayen was one of three Huskers in double figures, as Derrick Walker posted a career-high 14 points and six rebounds, while Trey McGowens added 12 points and five assists.

Nebraska’s 21-point win was its largest in Big Ten play since a 87-63 win over Rutgers on Feb. 6, 2016. Prior to tonight, NU’s last 20-point win in Big Ten play was a 72-52 win over No. 23 Michigan on Jan. 18, 2018.  NU led by as much as 30 in the second half, while its 18-point halftime lead was its largest in conference play since the 2015-16 season.

Nebraska outrebounded Rutgers 38-28, as the +10 was its best effort in Big Ten play and matched its best performance against a Division I opponent in 2020-21 (also McNeese State). It is the first time NU has out-rebounded a conference opponent by 10 or more board since the 2018-19 season. Nebraska had 19 assists for the second straight game, matching its highest total in Big Ten play this season.

It’s not clear why Allen (16.4 ppg) left the program. Nebraska was Allen’s third Division I program in a mercurial career. Coach Fred Hoiberg mentioned last week that Allen had been bothered by a wrist issue.

Why Bet on Iowa? | 2021 NCAA Basketball Expert Analysis

Iowa (18-7) was a 73-57 winner at No. 4 Ohio State on Sunday. The Buckeyes jumped out of the second-half gates with a 14-2 run to cut a 42-28 lead for Iowa at the half to 44-42 in favor of the Hawkeyes with 16:49 on the clock. Iowa then built the lead back to 10 at 61-51 (8:38) and the Buckeyes were not able to get it into single digits the rest of the way.

Iowa had lost its previous three games vs. top-five opponents this season. It was Iowa’s first win on the road with both teams ranked in the AP Top 10 since 1989 when the ninth-ranked Hawkeyes won at No. 6 North Carolina. It was Iowa’s seventh over a ranked opponent of the year, tying Kansas for the most in the country this season.

“This is a huge win for our group,” said Iowa superstar Luka Garza. “To be able to beat a team like that on their home floor, it is impressive for us and it’s huge for us with seeding in the Big Ten and NCAA Tournament.”

Garza led all scorers with 24 points, making 10-of-16 field goals, and he grabbed 11 rebounds to notch his 11th double-double of the season. Joe Wieskamp scored 19 points, making 7-of-13 field goals with five 3-pointers.

Senior Jordan Bohannon passed Jeff Horner to become Iowa’s all-time assists leader with an assist on a Wieskamp 3-pointer with 2:28 left in the first half. Bohannon finished the game with five assists, giving him 615 career assists.

Iowa has lost top reserve Jack Nunge to a season-ending injury. Nunge played in 22 games this season, leading the team in scoring (7.1) and rebounding (5.3) off the bench. It is the second time Nunge has suffered a season-ending knee injury the last 16 months.

Expert College Basketball Prediction

Iowa 84, Nebraska 70


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