TALE OF THE TAPE

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)
Coaching
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.
Offense
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.
Defense
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.

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 4: Tight end Dennis Pitta #88 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates with teammate quarterback Joe Flacco #5 after scoring a second quarter touchdown against the Miami Dolphins at M&T Bank Stadium on December 4, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 04:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots looks to throw a pass during the second half against the Los Angeles Rams at Gillette Stadium on December 4, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
    Week 14 Tale Of The Tape: Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots

    The Ravens and Patriots meet again in Gillette in what should be another great game.

  2. MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 1:  Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys hands the ball off to Ezekiel Elliott #21in the first half of the game agains the Minnesota Vikings on December 1, 2016 at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 04:  Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants drops back to pass in the first quarter during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on December 4, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
    Week 14 Tale Of The Tape: Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants

    The NFC East rivals meet again in the Meadowlands as the Cowboys look to avenge their only loss of the year.

  3. SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 04: Quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks passes during warmups before a game against the Carolina Panthers at CenturyLink Field on December 4, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images) GREEN BAY, WI - DECEMBER 04:  Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers is pressured by Christian Covington #95 of the Houston Texans during the first half of a game at Lambeau Field on December 4, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
    Week 14 Tale Of The Tape: Seattle Seahawks at Green Bay Packers

    The Seahawks travel to Lambeau for a match-up with the resurgent Pack.

See All Tales of the Tape

More From CBS Sacramento

Get Our App
Get The CBS Sacramento Weather AppGet the latest radar, CBS13 AppCasts and hour-by-hour forecasts. You can also send your weather pics.
Follow Us On Facebook

Listen Live