Round Of 16 Matchup: #3 Iowa State Vs. #7 Connecticut

#3 Iowa State
#7 Connecticut
(credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
(credit: Elsa/Getty Images)
(credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
(credit: Elsa/Getty Images)
Fred Hoiberg grew up in Lincoln, Neb., went to Iowa State and played basketball there as well, so if it comes down to knowing your program, Hoiberg has the edge. Since 2010, the Cyclones have steadily improved under their coach, including three 20+ win seasons. They’ve got two trips to the Big Dance under their belt, but they’ve not gone deep under Hoiberg.
Winner It’s only Kevin Ollie’s second season as the new UConn head coach, but already he’s got the Huskies back in the Sweet 16. When these two teams last met back in 2012, it was in the first round of the NCAA tournament and Iowa State came out on top by eight, but Ollie’s style is much different than Jim Calhoun’s, and it looks to be the breath of fresh air that Connecticut needed.
Winner The Cyclones had the sixth-best offense in the country during the regular season, led by guard DeAndre Kane, who was only the second-best scorer for Iowa State. Kane dominated the Tar Heels, scoring 24 points, with seven assists and 10 rebounds. Pressure doesn’t seem to be much of a factor for the young player either, as Kane was the one who setup the game-winning drive and layup.
Guard Shabazz Napier will be the player to watch in this match up—with 17.8 points per game in the regular season, he’s already averaging 24.5 ppg so far this tournament. Napier took command of the UConn offense over Villanova, and he’ll look to do it again against Iowa State.
Iowa State, for the most part, has been pretty subpar this season on defense, allowing 74.2 points per game (giving them a 285th ranking in the country). One exception is their rebounds, where they ranked second overall with 28.6 per game, which is one reason why their offense is so prolific – they don’t have to share the ball.
Winner The Huskies had no easy task in putting a stop to the Villanova offense, but they managed to handle the Wildcats fairly well despite a few hiccups. Iowa State’s offense is on a whole new plane, but UConn only allowed 63.7 points per game in the regular season, and was eighth overall in the nation in blocks. If any team has a chance to slow down the Cyclones offense, it’s probably the Huskies.
Bench Depth
The Cyclones got a great performance from backup guard Naz Long against the Tar Heels, but other than that, it’s been the dynamic group of starters that have catapulted Iowa State into the national spotlight for its offense. If the need arises for talent from the bench, the Cyclones may be left wanting.
Winner Connecticut got two huge performances from key bench players in the match up with Villanova, including double digit scoring performances from guards Terrence Samuel and Lasan Kromah. Lately, though, UConn doesn’t often have to rely on their bench, with star Shabazz Napier hauling in 20+ points per night.

The Winner Is

(credit: Elsa/Getty Images)
Winner #7 Connecticut
3 out of 4

Both of these teams have knocked off major NCAA tournament players in North Carolina and Villanova, so the showdown between these two giant-killers should be nothing less than entertaining.

Michael Ferro is freelance writer and a graduate of Michigan State University where he majored in creative writing and received the Jim Cash Creative Writing Award. Born and bred in Detroit, he currently resides in near Ann Arbor, MI. Additional writing can be found at Examiner.com.


  1. MINNEAPOLIS, MN - OCTOBER 9: Quarterback Brock Osweiler #17 of the Houston Texans drops back to pass during the first quarter of the game on October 9, 2016 at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) SAN DIEGO, CA - OCTOBER 13:  Trevor Siemian #13 of the Denver Broncos warms up before the game against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on October 13, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
    Week 7 Tale Of The Tape: Houston Texans At Denver Broncos

    The Broncos square off against their former QB as they welcome in Brock Osweiler and the Texans.

  2. SEATTLE, WA - OCTOBER 16:  Quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks passes against the Atlanta Falcons at CenturyLink Field on October 16, 2016 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images) GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 17:  Quarterback Carson Palmer #3 of the Arizona Cardinals looks to make a pass against the New York Jets in the first half of the NFL game at University of Phoenix Stadium on October 17, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
    Week 7 Tale Of The Tape: Seattle Seahawks At Arizona Cardinals

    The Seahawks face their NFC West foe on the road as the Cardinals look to get above .500 for the first time this season.

  3. FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 16:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots prepares to receive a snap during the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Gillette Stadium on October 16, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images) PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 25:  Quarterback  Landry Jones #3 of the Pittsburgh Steelers throws a pass during warm ups before playing against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on September 25, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
    Week 7 Tale Of The Tape: New England Patriots At Pittsburgh Steelers

    The Patriots are riding high and now face a Steelers team who will be without their starting QB.

See All Tales of the Tape

More From CBS Atlanta

Watch Dukes & Bell Live
Taz Goes Big With A New Daily Show!
Enter NOW

Watch & Listen